Grizzly bear mauls man on Copper River rafting trip

A sow keeps an eye on her two cubs while they eat in interior Alaska in late June, 2017. (NPS Photo/Emily Mesner)

By BECKY BOHRER
The Associated Press

JUNEAU — A man on a rafting trip in south-central Alaska was bitten numerous times by a grizzly bear, sustaining what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Alaska wildlife troopers late Monday afternoon received a call of a bear attack on the Copper River near Chitina. Tim DeSpain, a spokesman for the Alaska State Troopers, said a man and woman on a rafting trip stopped to camp and encountered a grizzly sow and at least one cub.

Chitina is about 65 miles southeast of Glennallen.

Troopers said the encounter occurred as the two walked up the creek. DeSpain did not have further details on the encounter or the extent of the man’s injuries. His name wasn’t immediately released. DeSpain said he was unaware of any injuries to the woman.

DeSpain said the two used a satellite phone to call someone they knew, who contacted Troopers and a local fishing charter service. The charter operator took the victim to an area where an ambulance was waiting, he said.

It is highly unlikely that authorities will look for the bear, given the remoteness of the area, DeSpain said. “It wasn’t in an area where there’s normally people,” he said.

A missing hiker was killed and a member of his search party was injured last week by a brown bear near the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River. Authorities believe the same bear attacked the missing hiker and the searcher.

Earlier this month, a teenager sustained injuries to his leg after being mauled by a bear in a Naknek boatyard, KDLG radio reported.

Naknek is at the northeast end of Bristol Bay and roughly 300 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Earlier this month hikers were charge by a brown bear near Cordova:

Hikers charged by brown bear sow on Ridge Trail