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Why so many moose, bear attacks in Anchorage this summer?

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: July 6, 2016
  • Published June 11, 2012

Here's the score: Moose -- 6 (minimum), bears -- 2.

Anchorage hospitals and emergency responders have been keeping busy with man vs. Alaska wildlife. What exactly is going on in the state's largest city?

No one has died. So far. But the chaos is a little alarming. There is no precedent for this. It isn't even the middle of June, and there's been a year's worth of big wildlife carnage doled out in the city of The Big Wild Life.

The numbers might even understate things. Many, possibly most, moose attacks don't get reported. A fair number of the people who go to the hospital after getting stomped are never noticed. Moose attacks fly below the radar.

The six this year might simply be due to better reporting, with people starting to take note after the big ungulates got especially unruly in one of the city's most popular parks.

Also, an Eagle River mom made noise after a moose stomped her daughter so badly surgery was required to put 6-year-old Chloe Metzger back together. Metzger wasn't the only one going to the hospital thanks to a belligerent moose. Cyclist Carla Smith got to visit the emergency room after a moose danced on her. A few others, such as cyclist Bruce Ross, probably should have visited medical professionals to get checked, but gutted it out instead.

Bad as the moose might be, though, the bears haven't been much better around the Anchorage area.

Howard Meyer was just out tromping around his old homestead on the edge of Eagle River when a lone grizzly bear decided to have its way with him. He's still recovering emotionally.

And now comes Ben Radakovich. He went for a hike near another suburb of a sort called Bird just south of the city Sunday and ran into the worst bear to run into -- a grizzly sow with a cub or cubs.

He had bear spray with which to ward off bears, but reported that things happened so fast he didn't get a chance to use it. The bear did to him what another bear did to Meyer.

Neither man was seriously injured physically, but emotionally it's a different matter. Doctors who've studied bear mauling victims said most undergo severe emotional stress and some progress to full on post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)

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