First responders in Alaska air-lifted a hiker to the hospital yesterday after he was mauled by a brown bear on the Kenai Peninsula. According to a press release issued by the Alaska State Troopers, the sow brown bear attacked the man when he accidentally ended up between her cub and her cub.
Troopers arrived around 11:45 a.m., the press release states, and an officer from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) assisted in their rescue efforts. The man was hiking a trail along Skilak Lake, a glacial-fed lake that lies between the towns of Soldotna and Coopers Landing. He was with a companion during the attack, but that person escaped uninjured, the Alaska Daily News reports.
Skilak Lake sits within the nearly 2 million-acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. According to the USFWS website, the area is internationally famous for its coastal brown bear hunting, and it’s popular with moose hunters. The lake itself is an important nursery for sockeye salmon and serves as a refuge for rainbow trout and dolly varden during winter months.
According to the Nov. 16 press release, the man is in stable condition at a local hospital. “All personnel are out of the field and the bears have departed the area,” the release reads. “The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will be continuing the investigation.”