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After killing bear cub with homemade spear, homeless man claims he was defending children

This photo shows a homemade spear that a homeless man used to kill a black bear cub that was sniffing around for food in an illegal camp site in Anchorage, Alaska. (David Battle/Alaska Department of Fish and Game via AP)

For days, authorities said, a bear and her cub had been stealing food from an illegal homeless camp in a wooded part of Anchorage, Alaska.

After several encounters with the animals, the homeless people staying in the six-tent camp were becoming increasingly worried about their safety, Anchorage area wildlife biologist Dave Battle, with the state Department of Fish and Game, told NBC affiliate KTUU.

One of the camp’s members — a 49-year-old father named David Tandler — decided to take action before the animals had a chance to harm his children.

He attached a long blade to a “nicely groomed branch,” creating a home-made spear, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen told the Associated Press. On Friday morning, after he spotted a 1½-year-old bear cub was sniffing near a tent with someone inside, he attacked.

“So he threw the spear and killed it,” Battle said.

The spear hit the cub in the side, and it ran less than 20 yards before succumbing to the wound, according to the AP.

“This is a first for me,” Battle told Fox News. “I don’t remember ever hearing about anything like that before. We don’t recommend bear spears for self defense.”

Battle told the AP the incident shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

“They were attracting bears into their area because they were leaving food out irresponsibly,” he said. “They had the bears coming in several times.”

Before Friday’s killing, residents of the homeless camp had been instructed to vacate the area, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro told KTUU. They had another five days before officers were scheduled to dismantle the camp.

Authorities deemed killing legal under the state’s defense of life and property law, according to Fox News.

Tandler did receive a $310 citation for negligent feeding of wildlife, Fox News reported.

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