Three Alaska hikers mauled
Three youth were mauled Wednesday after coming across a grizzly bear and her two cubs while they were hiking in a heavily wooded area just north of Alaska’s largest city.
Anchorage authorities said four young people were hiking in the woods around the Eagle River campground when three of them were injured after running into the bears. Police say three youth were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The other youth wasn’t injured.
Ken Marsh is the spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He says it’s possible this group just surprised the bears, and the mother reacted “defensively, pretty much in brown bear fashion.”
“It’s that time of year when we’re having fairly decent weather and a lot of people are getting out,” he said. “People just need to be bear aware.”
— Bonney Bowman (@BonneyBowman) June 14, 2017
The search for the bears has been called off. Officials will put up signs warning people of bear activity in the area.
Alaska hikers mauled is uncommon for the area
So far this year, seven bears have been killed statewide in defense of life and property, CBS reports.
The Eagle River Campground has signs posted all around, warning people to be bear aware and keep their campsites clean and free of trash, KTVA reports. A black bear was also spotted in the campground after the attack, highlighting the importance of staying alert.
The municipality of Anchorage covers more than 1,960 square miles, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island. Anchorage’s population of about 300,000 humans shares that space with up to 350 black bears and about 65 brown bears, according to the Fish and Game website.