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Black bear kills teen during mountain race in Alaska

Black bear kills teen during mountain race in Alaska

The teenager was a participant in the 29th annual Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb, race director Brad Precosky said. When one of the runners came barreling down the trail saying there had been an attack, he said, the entire race crew went into crisis mode.

A Chugach State Park ranger shot the bear, but it ran away. After the attack, several runners reported seeing multiple bears along the racecourse, including a brown bear and another black bear with cubs.

Anchorage Police Department Sgt. Nathan Mitchell told KTUU the victim's mom was at the race. During the half-marathon race of the same event, lead runner Chad Trammell came within 50 feet of a black bear while he was alone in the woods at the race's turnaround point.

American black bear (Ursus americanus) feeding on salmon eggs (roe) at creek at Neets Bay fish hatchery, Behm Canal in Southeast Alaska near Ketchikan, USA. Dozens of Alaskans participate in the run each year, and bear encounters rarely turn deadly.

The paper further reports, "The family member had Global Positioning System coordinates from the missing runner's phone that helped guide searchers to the area where his phone was".

"I heard something above me and thought, maybe that's him", Weddleton said, according to the news site.

"We got word that it didn't look good when we got eyes on the bear around 2:30", Precosky said. Tom Crockett, Park Ranger, said the bear appeared to be a predatory bear opposed to a defensive, which is rare. According to the North America Bear Centre, "most attacks by black bears attacks are defensive reactions to a person who is very close". The body was airlifted away because of the rugged terrain. "He was just in the wrong place", Crockett told ADN. He also added that it is hard for anyone to predict how an animal will behave or react to a given situation and which bear is a predator.

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