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Elderly man charged with killing a bear in his backyard

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A Massachusetts man is facing charges after he killed a bear in his backyard.

Richard Ahlstrand, of Auburn, was was refilling his bird feeder Friday night when he found himself face-to-face with a 400-pound bear.

"I didn’t have time to aim through the sights, but I aimed in the direction of the head on this thing and I pulled the trigger before it got to me.  It just dropped,” Mr. Ahlstrand told WBZ-TV.

Mr. Ahlstrand, 76, said he was toting his shotgun because he thought he saw a bear in his backyard the night before.

But police suspect a different version of events.

Auburn Police Chief Andrew Sluckis Jr. told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that Ahlstrand heard a noise, "went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear."

Ahlstrand is now charged with illegally killing a bear, illegally baiting a bear, illegal possession of a firearm and failing to secure a weapon, CBS Boston reports.

“They got me set up now like I’m some kind of murderer," Mr. Ahlstrand said. "And then the environmental guy told me ‘You should have called me instead of shooting it.’  What was I going to do, say ‘Mister Bear would excuse me please while I go make a phone call?’”

Authorities believed the female bear had cubs and was not a threat to people.

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