Man who killed bear now faces charges

A 76-year-old man is facing charges after killing a bear in his backyard Friday afternoon. Auburn Police Chief Andrew J. Sluckis Jr. said that Richard P. Ahlstrand, of Auburn, is charged with illegally killing a bear, illegally baiting a bear, illegal possession of a firearm, and failure to secure a firearm. Sluckis said the bear is believed to have been attracted to a 50-gallon drum of birdseed in Ahlstrand’s backyard. Ahlstrand told police he heard a noise outside and felt in fear of his life. Authorities determined the bear was female. “Not only was the bear not a threat to people, it may have had cubs waiting for it,” Sluckis said. Police took possession of two .22 rifles and a 12-gauge shotgun from Ahlstrand’s home. He is expected to appear in Worcester District Court for arraignment at a later date.