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Bear killed in Anchorage after llama killed

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Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012 7:46 am

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In the 13 years that Mike and Shannon Gribbons have lived on their two-acre home and barn spread with a menagerie of domesticated animals that has included full-size and miniature horses, a llama and a goat, they'd only encountered black bears.

But on Sunday, there were three grizzly bear visits at the Gribbon property, and by the end of the day, one of the bears was dead and so was Ande the llama, according to Monday's Anchorage Daily News (http://is.gd/SeK55t ).

The events that led up to the llama and bear cub being killed began at about 7:30 a.m. when Mike Gribbon saw a brown bear sow galloping away from the house and across the road.

When Mike returned home, his wife noticed their 14-year-old llama was nowhere to be found. She went looking for him and found his half-buried remains beneath a tree in a fenced arena-like area.

Two miniature horses in a nearby barn were nervous and whinnying.

"We knew it was a bear," she said.

They removed the remains of Ande, who was a favorite at children's birthday parties Shannon hosts as a business and was a regular at Bastille Day petting zoo celebrations hosted by Jens' Restaurant.

"He was just a really cool llama," Shannon said. "He didn't spit and he loved to go different places."

In the early afternoon, what Mike describes as a 250- to 300-pound, 1- or 2-year-old bear came back to the kill site.

It was snorting, pawing dirt and generally seemed disgruntled that the carcass was gone, Shannon said.

Mike said the bear began moving quickly toward the barn where two miniature horses about the size of a large dog were inside.

Mike shot near the bear with a 300 Winchester Magnum rifle hoping to scare it off, but the bear didn't stop. He shot twice more, this time aiming at it and killed it.

"We like wildlife and everything," said Shannon. "But this is obviously a problem bear. It was coming back."

Police arrived and Mike was filling out paperwork for killing a bear in defense of life and property when a third brown bear that looked to be the same age and size as the one Mike had killed ambled up.

"You should have seen the look on the officers' faces," Mike said.

Police officers drew firearms but scared it off without killing it, he said.

The Gribbons, who have lived in Alaska for more than 30 years, believe the trio was a sow and her two cubs.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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