A moose hunter in a national park in Alaska was mauled to death by a grizzly bear over the weekend. This incident marks the first deadly bear attack at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve since its opening in 1980.
The National Park Service reports that the man was on a 10-day moose hunt with a friend near the Chisana River when the grizzly attacked.
The man’s name and details regarding the attack have not been released yet, due to an ongoing investigation. It is also unclear if officials are looking for the grizzly bear responsible.
No other injuries have been reported.
The park service reminds all those hiking or camping to “be bear aware when traveling in the backcountry.”
“Most bears tend to avoid people,” says the National Park Serves website on being ‘bear aware’. “In most cases, if you give a bear the opportunity to do the right thing, it will. Many bears live in Alaska, and many people enjoy the outdoors, but surprisingly few people even see bears. Only a tiny percentage of those few are ever threatened by a bear.”
A study done by an epidemiologist in Alaska showed that during the first 85 years of this century, only 20 people died in bear attacks in Alaska. That is incredibly low, considering that in the ten years from 1975 to 1985, 19 people in Alaska were killed by dogs alone.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a 13.2 million acre park near the eastern part of Alaska, next to Canada’s Yukon. It was designated by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, but prior to being named a national park, it was established by the president as a national monument.
Both black bears and grizzlies call the park home. According to the National Parks website, grizzly bears’ height can range from four feet to seven feet, and they weigh between 300 and 1,500 pounds. When standing, they may measure up to nine feet tall.
[H/T CBS News]