Two Rare Black Bear Attacks Show Rise in Conflict With People
After back-to-back black bear maulings in Alaska, officials warn that knowing how to respond to an attack could mean life or death.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is still on the hunt for a black bear that mauled and killed 16-year-old Patrick Cooper. Meanwhile, experts recommend caution to those venturing into bear habitat as summer heats up.
The fatal incident took place on June 18 during an annual trail race that has been held in the region for the past 29 years. The three-mile trail began at Bird Ridge in Alaska's Chugach State Park and involved a 3,400-foot vertical ascent through heavily wooded terrain.
"If we find the bear, we definitely want to kill it," said Ken Marsh, a representative from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
"This has all the earmarks of a predatory attack: A bear attack deliberately