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Coyote Trappers Attacked by Brown Bear in Alaska Live to Tell the Story

The Kenai River in the Kenai Peninsula, where the attack took place.

The Kenai River in the Kenai Peninsula, where the attack took place.

It is relatively late in the year for a bear attack, but nature knows no boundaries. When two trappers entered too deep into the territory of a brown bear sow, she attacked without warning. The trappers were unarmed but after both were pawed over and one bitten, the bear simply left the scene.

The two coyote trappers from Anchorage were setting their traps up in a remote area of the Kenai Peninsula on Saturday, November 10 in the afternoon, according to Jeff Selinger, wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The pair separated to set the traps, but were still within earshot of one another. That’s when one of the men, whose names have not been released, heard growling and roaring, then his friend shouting.

He sprinted to the scene, where he saw a bear on top of his friend. He yelled at the bear, threw rocks at it and the bear quickly turned its attention to him. ”He yelled at the bear and tried to get him away from the area and it came after him and knocked him down and then went back to the first individual and worked him over some more and then left the area,” Selinger told the Peninsula Clarion.

Neither of the trappers had a firearm, knife or bear spray of any sort. Counting on the bear’s mood was the only chance they had of escape. Luckily by the time the bear left, one man was uninjured and the initial trapper who was attacked, a 46-year-old man, had been bitten in the head and the lower body. They immediately went to their boat and were able to meet medics at a boat launch near the Kenai Keys subdivision.

The injured trapper was transferred to a hospital in Soldotna and transferred to an Anchorage hospital.

Wildlife officials said they have no intention of going back to the area to search for the bears. The trappers agreed that it was their fault for entering the bear’s territory, which may have provoked the attack. Although cubs were not with the sow at the time of the attack, when the uninjured trapper returned on Monday to retrieve their traps, he saw cub tracks in the area.

Image from Frank Kovalchek (Alaskan Dude) on the flickr Creative Commons

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  • JEC

    Unarmed???