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.


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

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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