Black Bear Fatally Mauls Teen Who Was Running Alaska Mountain Race
The teen runner was on Bird Ridge trail when he texted a family member to say he was being chased.
An Alaska teen was fatally mauled by a bear over the weekend during a mountain race outside Anchorage.
The 16-year-old runner was participating in the juniors division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb between Anchorage and Girdwood Sunday when he reportedly encountered the black bear.
The unidentified teen had made it to the halfway point turnaround on Bird Ridge trail when he texted a family member to say he was being chased by a bear, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.
The family member then approached race director Brad Precosky with the information.
"He was very shaken and had received this communication," Precosky said. Rescuers used GPS information from the teen's phone but initially weren't able to get close to him.
A park ranger eventually shot the 250-pound black bear in the face, forcing it to run away.
A helicopter was then used to hoist the boy's body away.
Authorities say the teen did nothing wrong in his encounter with the bear.
"He was just in the wrong place," said Tom Crockett, a park ranger with Chugach State Park. "You can't predict which bear is going to be predatory.
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