Metro

Auburn man, 76, faces criminal charges for fatally shooting a black bear eating birdseed in his yard

An Auburn man is facing criminal charges after he shot and killed a bear that was eating birdseed in his backyard Sunday.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, police charged 76-year-old Richard P. Ahlstrand after he is charged with killing and baiting a bear, in addition to firearms charges.

Auburn Police Chief Andrew J. Sluckis Jr. told the T&G that Ahlstrand noise in his yard on Leicester Street and then armed himself with a shotgun because he feared for his life.

Advertisement

“He went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear,” Sluckis told the newspaper.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Auburn Police and Environmental Police were called to the home at about noon. An Environmental Police officer told the T&G that the bear was female and may have had cubs waiting in the woods for her.

Officials did not believe the bear was a threat to residents.

Police seized two .22 rifles and a 12-guage shotgun from the home, the T&G reported. Ahlstrand is expected to be arraigned in Worcester District Court at a later date.

Alli Knothe can be reached at aknothe@globe.com.