Professor in serious condition following bear mauling near Haines
April 20, 2016
Alaska State Troopers were notified of the bear mauling by the Haines Police Department on Mount Emmerich near Kicking Horse River. Troopers responded to the location of the mauling with Temsco Helicopters.
Wagner was leading a University of Alaska Southeast group of 9 students and 2 teaching assistants in a mountaineering course when Wagner, 35 of Fairbanks, was mauled.
A student hiked down the mountain to get cell reception and called for help.
Wagner was removed from the mountain by helicopter and transported by a LifeMed helicopter before being taken to a hospital in Anchorage.
The university arranged for all its students to be transported off the mountain as the bear was sighted again after the mauling. Haines is home to both black and brown bears. The bear involved in the incident was a brown bear.
Haines is located 92 miles north of Juneau and is accessible only via air or sea as there no road system linking cities in Southeast Alaska. The group was traversing an area between Mt. Emmerich and the Chilkat River when Wagner was attacked by a bear with cubs.
Chancellor Rick Caulfield said “I commend the students for their quick action in responding to this situation and appreciate the prompt response from Alaska State Troopers, Haines Police, Temsco Helicopters, and medical staff in Haines and in Juneau. Our thoughts are with faculty member Forest Wagner as he recovers from this incident, and we are thankful that all involved are safe.”
The University of Alaska Southeast Juneau will work to provide support as needed to the students involved.
Alaska State Troopers and university officials coordinated with Temsco Helicopters to evacuate students from the area. UAS Professor Kevin Krein remained in Haines with the students Mpnday and they return to Juneau on Tuesday, April 19 via ferry as previously planned.
Just days before the bear mauling in Southeast Alaska, the Alaska State Troopers received a report of a Grizzly bear attack which occurred near mile 68 of the Denali Highway in the Fairbanks area on April 15, 2016.
The victim of that bear mauling was identified as Glenn Bohn, 77 of Wasilla, who was bear hunting at the time of the attack. The bear was killed by a hunting partner on the scene.
Bohn was driven to the Denali Highway by snowmachine where he was flown by LifeMed to Anchorage. On 04/16/2016, friends of the victim, ADF&G and Wildlife Troopers traveled to the location of the attack. The bear, confirmed to be a Grizzly, was harvested and removed from the field.
According to information on the Alaska Department of Fish & Games's website, the term “brown bear” commonly refers to animals found in coastal areas, and brown bears found inland and in northern habitats are often called “grizzlies.
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Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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