A man was hospitalized last week after he was attacked and mauled by a grizzly bear while hunting near Anchorage, Alaska. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), the grizzly was shot by the unidentified hunter in the Ship Creek Valley area between 9 and 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 1. When the man and his hunting companions started chasing the injured animal, things went wrong.
“They had shot a bear and then started to close in on it,” ADFG wildlife biologist Cory Stantorf said. Field and stream. “But the bear was not completely dead.” The bear attacked and grabbed the hunter. Other members of the manhunt group acted quickly, probably saving his life. They shot at the big bruin until he backed away. The injured hunter made it out of Ship Creek Valley without requiring emergency rescue assistance. Finally, the bear died. The next day, the hunting party returned to the scene of the attack and recovered the animal, according to Stantorf.
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The part of Ship Creek Valley where the attack occurred is on land that is owned and operated by a US military base called Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER). Both big game and small game are allowed on select parts of the base year-round. Last May, an active duty Army Staff Sgt. named Seth Micheal Plant was tragically attacked and killed by a grizzly bear while taking part in a routine training exercise in a remote part of the JBER. That attack occurred at Training Area 412 west of the Anchorage Regional Landfill. Another soldier was injured but survived the incident, which involved a grizzly sow with cubs.
Stantorf tells F&S that the grizzly bear population in Ship Creek Valley, where the recent incident occurred, is considered stable. “There is a healthy population,” he said. “I would not say that the population is heavy, [it’s] just average density.”