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The killing of an Eagle River hiker marks the 6th fatal bear attack in Alaska in the past 10 years. Here are the others.

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: June 20
  • Published June 20

The death of Mike Soltis this week in Eagle River marks the sixth fatal bear attack in Alaska in the past decade but the third in two years.

Here are the other deadly attacks reported over the past 10 years.

Erin Johnson, husband Abe Schmidt and dog Scamp on the top of Mount Rumble. Erin Johnson was killed by a bear at the Pogo Mine while on the job June 19, 2017. (Courtesy of Abe Schmidt)

June 19, 2017

Location: Pogo Mine in Interior Alaska

Victim: Erin Johnson, 27

Johnson, a biologist collecting soil samples, was working with other contractors at an exploration site several miles from the main Pogo Mine camp when she was attacked by a black bear.

A memorial bench for Patrick “Jack” Cooper overlooks Bird Creek and Turnagain Arm from midway up the Bird Ridge trail on June 14, 2018. (Marc Lester / ADN)

June 18, 2017

Location: Bird Ridge along Turnagain Arm

Victim: Patrick "Jack" Cooper, 16

Cooper was running a Bird Ridge trail race when he was attacked by a black bear. It was described at the time as the first fatal Anchorage-area bear mauling since 1995, when Marcie Trent, 77, and her son Larry Waldron, 45, were killed on the McHugh Creek Trail.

Jack Cooper (yellow shirt) is surrounded by family and friends on the top of Flattop. (Courtesy Katrina and Rose Garner)

June 6, 2013

Location: George Lake, southeast of Delta Junction

Victim: Robert Weaver, 64

Weaver and his wife had docked their boat and were walking to their cabin on George Lake at the time of the black bear attack, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Oct. 11, 2012

Location: Chichagof Island in Southeast Alaska

Victim: Tomas Puerta, 54, Sitka

Passers-by spotted Puerta's boat adrift in the cove and went ashore near what appeared to be a campsite to see if anyone was in trouble. They reported being confronted by a sow grizzly.

Aug. 24, 2012

Location: Denali National Park and Preserve

Victim: Richard White, 49

White was backpacking alone and snapped photos of the grizzly before the attack. At the time, the attack was reported as the first fatal bear mauling in Alaska in seven years, and the only fatal attack in the 6-million-acre park's history dating back 90 years.

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