Bear Kills Hiker in Alaska

Grizzly Bear in Denali NP. Photo from nature.nps.govDenali National Park rangers have found and identified the remains of a lone backpacker that was mauled by a grizzly bear. This is the first fatal bear attack in the history of the park, and first fatal bear attack in Alaska since 2005. All backpackers who are issued a backcountry permit in Denali must undergo mandatory bear encounter training, and carry a bear-resistant food canister. Richard White, a 49-year-old San Diego, California, resident, had undergone the mandatory training, yet photographs found on his camera showed he came to within 50 yards of a large grizzly and remained there for at least eight minutes before the bear attacked. The training explicitly states to keep at least a quarter-mile from bears, and to leave an area where bears are seen as soon as possible.

On Friday afternoon, day hikers came upon a backpack, shredded clothing, and blood along a gravel bar of the Toklat River. They alerted the park service, who flew helicopters to the area and were able to locate a probable spot in nearby bushes where the bear may have hidden the hiker’s remains. As darkness was falling, the search was suspended until Saturday. Mr. White’s remains were recovered late Saturday afternoon and flown to Anchorage. A large male grizzly close to the area where the remains were found was shot, and upon investigation of its stomach contents, was identified as the bear that attacked Mr. White.

Read more here.

Learn what to do when encountering a bear–watch this video.

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One Response to Bear Kills Hiker in Alaska

  1. Wild Bill August 27, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    And this is why, in many cases, nature is not to be trifled with

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