Alaskan wildlife refuge loses bear

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center announced Monday that a 300-pound, 2-year-old female Kodiak brown bear escaped six days ago from its enclosure near Portage. The bear had been destined for a zoo in Sweden in early summer.

The center is in a rural area at the southernmost end of Anchorage, about 40 miles from downtown. The center is near wild areas of the Chugach National Forest and the bear was last seen Tuesday night in mountains between the Portage and Placer valleys, the center said.

“We had our electric fence turned off for maintenance and during that time, something spooked Shaguyik,” said executive director Mike Miller. “Unfortunately, this year’s heavy snow load required us to fix our electric fence and that’s when the incident occurred.”

She carries a microchip but is not wearing a collar and has no identifying tags. The nonprofit center is the custodian of the bear under a permit but it remains the possession of the state, Tyler said.