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Injured Teens Recovering from Grizzly Attack in Alaska

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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

 

Comments (9)

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Glad to hear all involved are improving. Scary to think of how bad it could've been.

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from GERG wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Glad to hear the teens are improving. Wonder what or if they are doing anything about the bear?

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from tneal1987 wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

That is good that no one else was badly injured, I agree with GERG, something should be done about the bear as it is at more risk of attacking again.

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

So if the kid dies, does that mean he failed his survival skill course? (That was in bad taste, God I apologize for having scribed those words,,,)

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from makersman wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

They were in the Bears back yard not the other way around. You go into a wilderness area at your own risk knowing that this might happen. Sounds like the bear was defending something not hunting for food or it would have finish what it started.

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from pnbenson wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

OK, I'll ask: And in the middle of bear country, why was no one armed with anything bigger than pepper spray (which was never used, according to the article)??

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from blackjac wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Nature's law-ma-ma protecting her young on her turf.

Thank God all the kid'd made it out, it really could have been worse. I think being there were so many kid's, the bear did not focus too long on the one who was injured.

While visiting Brooks Falls in AK some years ago a sow and two cub were walking down mid stream towards a long foot bridge you crossed prior to the observation deck to view the bears catching salmon mid air. People were on the bridge, the conservation officer spotted the bears and ordered everyone off the bridge with a bullhorn. Some silly SOB refused to move and continues to take pictures of the oncoming bears. The officer ran to her and leterally dragged her from the bridge and chewed her butt out----this is not the Bronx zoo you #%&###, they're wild animals. Soon after, the sow charged the bridge, took her a flash to travel 20 yards to the bridge. I sure the "photographer" had chinese writing in her skivies after seeing the charge!!

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

pnbenson, this was the anti-gunners bear defense course.

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from dasmith wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I hope this serves as a warning to people taking these courses and the company that run them, that people need to have protection (known as a firearm) when in bear country.

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from pnbenson wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

OK, I'll ask: And in the middle of bear country, why was no one armed with anything bigger than pepper spray (which was never used, according to the article)??

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Glad to hear all involved are improving. Scary to think of how bad it could've been.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GERG wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Glad to hear the teens are improving. Wonder what or if they are doing anything about the bear?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tneal1987 wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

That is good that no one else was badly injured, I agree with GERG, something should be done about the bear as it is at more risk of attacking again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

So if the kid dies, does that mean he failed his survival skill course? (That was in bad taste, God I apologize for having scribed those words,,,)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from makersman wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

They were in the Bears back yard not the other way around. You go into a wilderness area at your own risk knowing that this might happen. Sounds like the bear was defending something not hunting for food or it would have finish what it started.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackjac wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

Nature's law-ma-ma protecting her young on her turf.

Thank God all the kid'd made it out, it really could have been worse. I think being there were so many kid's, the bear did not focus too long on the one who was injured.

While visiting Brooks Falls in AK some years ago a sow and two cub were walking down mid stream towards a long foot bridge you crossed prior to the observation deck to view the bears catching salmon mid air. People were on the bridge, the conservation officer spotted the bears and ordered everyone off the bridge with a bullhorn. Some silly SOB refused to move and continues to take pictures of the oncoming bears. The officer ran to her and leterally dragged her from the bridge and chewed her butt out----this is not the Bronx zoo you #%&###, they're wild animals. Soon after, the sow charged the bridge, took her a flash to travel 20 yards to the bridge. I sure the "photographer" had chinese writing in her skivies after seeing the charge!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

pnbenson, this was the anti-gunners bear defense course.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dasmith wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I hope this serves as a warning to people taking these courses and the company that run them, that people need to have protection (known as a firearm) when in bear country.

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