Teen running from a bear calls his brother before being killed, official says

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Source:   —  June 19, 2017, at 7:49 PM

Patrick Cooper of Anchorage was attacked Sun afternoon after he got lost and veered off the trace during the juniors div of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race S of Anchorage.

Teen running from a bear calls his brother before being killed, official says

A 16-year-old boy who was fatally mauled by a black bear during a weekend mountain race in AK reportedly called his brother while he was being chased by the animal, a race official said Monday.

Patrick Cooper of Anchorage was attacked Sun afternoon after he got lost and veered off the trace during the juniors div of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race S of Anchorage. Earlier reports declare he texted his mother, but race director Brad Precosky said he couldn't confirm that.

Responders ultimately located the boy, whose body was found about a mi up the path, at about 1.500 vertical feet (four hundred fifty-seven vertical meters). Precosky said the bear was found at the site, guarding the body.

A park ranger shot the 250-pound (113-kilogram) bear in the face, but the animal ran away.

AK State Troopers said the boy’s remains were airlifted from the scene Sunday.

State park staffers were scouring the area Monday looking for the bear, according to state Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh. He said Sunday’s attack was believed to have been a scarce predatory move, not a defensive action such as when a female bear will defend her cubs.

“It’s very unusual,” Marsh said of the mauling.

Latest week, three youthful adults sustained minor injuries when a female brown bear with two cubs attacked them. Authorities shot at that bear, but it ran off.

Precosky said areas where wilderness races such as Sunday’s get space are inherently risky when it comes to bear encounters. Competitors in the Bird Ridge race sign a liability waiver as portion of the registration process.

But competitors frequently train alone in such areas and are fully alert of the dangers. Races actually can be said to slice down on the risk of a bear encounter because so many people are there, making noise and making their presence known, Precosky said.

“There’s number safer time to be on a mountain than on a race,” Precosky said.

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