Bear Attacks Campers Sleeping in Their Tent in Alaska

by Madison Miller

Even surrounded by a couple of metal poles stabbed into the dirt and a resilient tarp, the great outdoors can still infiltrate through a standard camping tent.

Two campers were enjoying the Alaskan wilderness at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. This is where many people go for fishing, canoeing, camping, and hiking year-round. The largest lake is the Tustumena Lake.

Amidst the beautiful waters and forests are also a diverse group of wildlife — mountain goats, Dall sheep, caribou, wolverine, as well as black and brown bears.

Two Campers Attacked by Bear in Tent

According to AP News, two campers were sleeping in their tent when they were suddenly attacked by a bear. The bear attacked at around midnight on Saturday, June 12. Apparently, the two campers did have forms of bear deterrent, but didn’t have time to use them during the incident.

Officials don’t know why the bear attacked or what kind of bear it was yet.

“There’s no indication that they did anything to prompt the attack or did anything wrong. It’s one of those where you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Jeff Selinger said.

The campers had found a spot all to themselves and had no nearby people. They were along Skilak Lake. Following the attack, the campers used some of the first aid supplies they packed. They also got into a kayak and were in it for about an hour searching for help.

At this point in time, it’s unknown just how bad the injuries from the bear attack are. One of the campers was airlifted and the other was driven to the hospital in an ambulance.

The area near the incident was closed off but is now open once again with signs to caution people of the recent attack. The bear could still be lurking in the area. However, officials are hoping people are always packed with proper supplies like these two campers. It can make a life-changing difference.

Other Alaska Bear Attack

It isn’t entirely uncommon for bear attacks to happen in the Alaskan wilderness.

According to CNN, Allen Minish was able to bind up his wounds after being mauled by a bear. He also was able to call 911 for assistance. A brown bear had bitten him in the head several times.

He was doing a land survey and accidentally approached a rogue brown bear. After being startled, the bear then charged at Minish.

“When he did that, he lunged, grabbed my head, took the first bite, relaxed, and took the second bite, that was stronger. And that’s when he cracked all the bones and part of my head,” Minish said.

Similar to the two campers, Minish called this an instance of “wrong place, wrong time.”