Dead bear's DNA test suggests another one still stalks park

The sow grizzly shot and killed on suspicion that it mauled at least one person and chased several others in Far North Bicentennial Park this summer was cleared of the most severe attack by genetic testing results announced Wednesday.

Of the sow's two orphaned cubs, one was captured Wednesday and taken to the Alaska Zoo, while the other remained at large despite reemerging at the scene of its mother's death.

The cubs' mother was shot after biologists spotted the family eating a bull moose carcass in a Stuckagain Heights yard Tuesday morning, more than a week after the mauling of Clivia Feliz on Aug. 8 on the park's Rover's Run Trail.

Biologists suspected the same bear was responsible for the mauling of 15-year-old Petra Davis, who was attacked as she was taking part in a bike race through the park in late June.

But genetic testing that compared the sow's DNA to samples taken from Davis' helmet and bicycle indicate the sow was not responsible for that attack, said Dr. Sandra Talbot of the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center.

"The DNA doesn't match. It appears as though that bear wasn't involved in the Petra Davis attack," she said. "It's just preliminary, but I'm pretty confident of the results."

Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman Bruce Bartley said no one saw the bear involved in the nighttime attack on Davis.

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