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Two bear attacks, two deaths over two days in Alaska

Two bear attacks, two deaths over two days in Alaska”

A 16-year-old runner was fatally mauled by a black bear in the middle of a Sunday trail race south of Anchorage.

Sources say the victim apparently veered off the trail when he was attacked by a large 250-pound black bear.

Race organizers say Cooper reportedly called his brother while he was being chased by the animal just before the Sunday afternoon attack. Though they lacked any weapons, a group of the runners ran back up Bird Creek Trail to try to help the teen. The bear was at the site, guarding the body, Mr Precosky said.

The rescuers headed for the Global Positioning System coordinates sent from the phone of a teenager, and found there the body of the deceased and the bear that killed him. "So, I'm yelling 'bear!' to warn the other people - 'Bear, bear, bear!'" According to The Washington Post, another runner told officials he had seen a bear circling a teen. Instead, the bear ran away.

Cooper rang his brother to tell him that he was being chased by the bear and had taken a wrong turn during the race. Sometimes that means nothing; other times, it's really serious.

After a search of the trail, Cooper was found pinned to the ground by a black bear.

About 42 percent of the 207 people attacked by bears from 1980 to 2015 were recreating in bear country, according to a tally from retired Alaska Department of Fish and Game bear biologist John Hechtel. Marsh said, if the bear is found alive it will be put down. Races actually can be said to cut down on the risk of a bear encounter because so many people are there, making noise and making their presence known, Precosky said.

"In this situation, this is a very, very rare occurrence", Marsh said. "But right now I don't have any information about the bear". Have bear spray ready.

Authorities from multiple agencies arrived to airlift the teen's body.

Race director Michael Friess said the "tragedy" would be reviewed "with a fine tooth comb". "Everyone on site is concerned for those involved", Chris Kennedy, general manager at Pogo Mine, said in a statement, according to Alaska Dispatch News.

A park ranger shot the bear in the face, but it ran away.

The first attack happened on Sunday during a mountain race at Chugach State Park southeast of Anchorage.

"He was just in the wrong place", Crockett said.

"The longer you stand there, even if it's running toward you, the greater chance the bear will stop short or go around", he said.



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