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Escaped Alaska conservation center bear 'Shaggy' gets cremation ceremony

Alaska Dispatch
courtesy of Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Shaguyik: Friend, companion, escapee. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center's (AWCC) well loved orphan Kodiak grizzly has been many things to many people. To some she was a sad story, to others a scary one.

Shaggy, most famous for her April 2012 escape from the AWCC campus, was found dead on June 14 after suffering a fatal shot from an undisclosed local apparently in defense of life and property.

The center, having chosen cremation, received the bear's ashes this week. In commemoration of Shaggy's life and celebrity AWCC staff held a private ceremony Tuesday night, on the eve of summer solstice.

According to a press release, staff members solemnly gathered in Shaggy's former enclosure to spread her remains. Kelly Miller, AWCC education director, said, "The staff all agrees that we should send the rest of her remains to Kodiak though. That's where she really belongs."

"We just can't express how sad this makes us. It is tragic to have lost her at all, but to have had her so close to home has been really hard for us to deal with," added AWCC Executive Director Mike Miller. "Hopefully this gathering of staff tonight will provide us all with some closure."

Read more on Shaguyik's escape and subsequent death here.