Wildlife

Hunter mauled by brown bear he shot near Anchorage’s Ship Creek, official says

A hunter was attacked by a brown bear Thursday morning near Ship Creek after he shot it but didn’t realize it was still alive, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game official said.

The hunter, treated at a hospital for injuries, was able to make his way out of the area without calling for rescue, said Cory Stantorf, an assistant wildlife biologist for the Anchorage area.

The man shot a large adult brown bear between about 9 and 10 a.m. in an area near Ship Creek and up the valley from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson land, Stantorf said. It is legal to hunt in the area, he said.

The man then approached the bear, which he thought was dead, and it got up and charged him, the biologist said.

The bear wounded him during the attack, according to Stantorf, although he said he could not provide additional details about the injuries or how severe they were.

Others in the hunting party shot at the bear, Stantorf said, and it stopped attacking and left. The hunters made it out of the area without further incident, he said.

It wasn’t clear by Friday morning if the bear had died from the gunshot wounds, Stantorf said. The hunting party was returning to the area to look for the bear, he said.

There have been several other bear maulings in Anchorage this year. A soldier was killed and another was injured during a defensive attack involving a sow brown bear with cubs on a remote area of JBER in May.

A man was treated at the hospital last month after he surprised a sow brown bear with a cub in Eagle River. A woman was also injured last month when a black bear swatted at her on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail near Point Woronzof.

Stantorf said it’s important that anyone recreating outdoors in the backcountry or even in Anchorage is paying attention to their surroundings and looking for bears.

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Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.

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