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Man encounters polar bear outside animals’ normal range

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A northeast Alaska man says he fatally shot a polar bear far south of the animal’s usual habitat.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reports Jim Hollandsworth of Arctic Village says he encountered the bear in early January, about 20 miles from the village.

Hollandsworth says the bear had tried to get into his cabin at the site.

Polar bears are a federally protected species, with the exception of self-defense killings.

The bear was shot more than 100 miles south of the Beaufort Sea coastline.

University of Washington polar bear researcher Eric Regehr says it’s unusual for the bears to venture far outside their normal territory, but it’s not unheard of.

He says the animals usually stay within a few miles of the coast, except for some pregnant females.

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