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Wildlife officials investigate 'poaching' of black bear in Kenai

 The blood and drag marks from the reported bear poaching. Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo.
The blood and drag marks from the reported bear poaching. Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo. (KTUU)
Published: May. 21, 2018 at 10:59 AM AKDT
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After visitors to a popular wildlife refuge saw the remains of a black bear, with a noticeable pool of blood from the woods leading into the roadway, an investigation is underway into the alleged poaching of the bear.

According to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, which reported on social media Sunday, a call of the poaching came in to federal wildlife officials claiming the bear had been killed.

Witnesses told officials they saw the bear, around 100 pounds, near the road with "no fear of vehicles or people" on May 17 near the east entrance of Skilak Loop near Jim's Landing. Notably, the area in which the blood was found is closed to hunting.

A federal wildlife officer and a K9 responded to the area, finding "a large pool of blood in the middle of the road as well as drags marks from the scene into the woods and drag marks from the woods back to the road."

That's where officials wrote the bear was loaded into a vehicle and transported from the area.

The car was described as a " a blue hatch back similar to a Subaru Outback as being the vehicle driven by the person who shot the bear as it stood in the middle of the road."

Authorities say they are now searching for more information regarding who illegally killed the bear.

They asked anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Federal Wildlife Officer Barto at 907-262-7021.