July 26, 2011
Injured Teens Recovering from Grizzly Attack in Alaska
By Online Editors
Four of the teens attacked by a grizzly in Alaska while participating in a surival skills course are recovering from their injuries and have given the Associated Press an account of their ordeal.
From this story on nytimes.com:
The teens had been advised to play dead if they encountered a grizzly during their excursion in the Alaska wilderness.
But with the massive, snarling bear suddenly looming over them, 17-year-old Sam Gottsegen of Denver and the other participants of a backcountry survival course did what so many others would have done: They ran.
The bear pounced on some of the students, including Gottsegen, who was among four seriously injured...
Authorities believe the bear was aggressive because it was with its cub. Gottsegen said no one ever saw a cub.
The group was hiking through bushes that got so thick they decided to wade through a river, walking in single file. Around a bend in the river, Joshua Berg, 17, of New City, N.Y., began yelling "Bear! Bear!"
The bear took him down first. The animal made angry, growling noises as it attacked, Gottsegen said.
It was so sudden. There was no time to pull out their bear deterrent spray, and no one had a gun. Berg, badly wounded, called for someone to set off the personal locator beacon they carried for emergencies.
When Gottsegen was attacked, he kicked at the grizzly, to no avail.
Then the bear struck him, biting him on the head, lashing out at the teen's arms and chest, puncturing a lung and breaking two ribs. The attack on the group probably lasted less than a minute, he said...
The teens were in the 24th day of their course when the attack occurred.
Berg remained in serious condition Monday, while Gottsegen was upgraded to good from serious.
Berg's parents Liz Breyer and William Berg said in a statement their son continues to improve.
"We're grateful to the surgeons, physicians and nurses who are caring for our son," they said. "We appreciate the efforts of the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Air National Guard, and Josh's fellow National Outdoor Leadership School students who helped him. We are so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from our family and friends."
CC Image courtesy of ilashdesigns on Flickr