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Youth Mauled by 400 Pound Bear


April 27, 2004

Ketchikan, AK - The Alaska State Troopers in Ketchikan reported they were contacted a little past noon on Saturday and notified that a 400-pound brown sow bear had mauled one of the youth at a campsite on Deer Island. The campsite is operated by "Crossings Wilderness Expeditions for Youth" - a six weeks program for juveniles.

According to a news release, the young boy, age 15 of Barrow, woke to find the bear sitting on his feet. He pulled his feet free and attempted to exit the rear of the tent, however the bear met him behind the tent. While protecting his head, the boy's right elbow was bitten by the bear. The teenager punched the bear several times in the face and turned to run. The bear gave chase and bit him on the right side just below the ribcage. The youth pulled free and a chase ensued around a tree. While circling, the 15-year old picked up an airhorn and sounded it, alerting the camp staff, who responded and fired flares over the bear and shot pepper-spray which caused the bear to run off.

The AST reported that the boy was transported by air to Ketchikan General Hospital for treatment of multiple puncture wounds. He is reported to be in good condition and excellent spirits.

At 5:00 pm on Saturday, a trooper and USFS officer returned to Deer Island and located, shot and killed the bear. The bear carcass was to be transported to Wrangell. According to information provided by the AST, the bear was apparently attracted by food to the campsite.

Troopers and the United States Forest Service remind campers that proper food storage is important when out in the wild. Even a candy bar wrapper is enough to attract a hungry bear. All food and garbage should be stored in air-tight containers, or cached up and away where it cannot be reached. All food preparation utensils should be cleaned and put away after use.


Source of News:

Alaska State Troopers
Web Site



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