Black bear

Black bear
A 16-year-old has died after being attacked by a black bear on Sunday afternoon during a race.

The unnamed Alaskan teenager was participating in the Bird Ridge Trail Race in Anchorage.

As he descended the trail, the animal chased him - before eventually reaching and mauling him.

A Chugach State Park ranger shot the bear in the face, but it ran away, leaving rangers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game still looking for the bear as of Sunday night.


The teen was running in the juniors' division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race, which takes runners up the Bird Ridge trail north of Girdwood just off the Seward Highway, said race director Brad Precosky.

According to Precosky, the 16-year-old texted his brother at 12:37pm that he was being chased by a bear.

The runner had been on his way down from the turnaround point for the juniors' race, halfway up the mountain, he added.

The teen was running in the juniors' division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race, which takes runners up the Bird Ridge trail (pictured) north of Girdwood just off the Seward Highway

The teen was running in the juniors' division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race, which takes runners up the Bird Ridge trail (pictured) north of Girdwood just off the Seward Highway
He was found about a mile from the trailhead about 500 yards off the trail in steep, heavily wooded terrain at about a 30-degree slope.

Many details remain unclear including how the runner got off the trail and if he had been chased by the bear to the spot, reported the Alaskan Dispatch News.

'This young man didn't do anything wrong. He was just in the wrong place,' said park ranger Tom Crockett.

'You can't predict which bear is going to be predatory.'

This is not the first time a bear mauling has occurred in the area.

In July 2014, Alaska State Troopers got a call for help from a hiker on the Penguin Ridge trail in the Bird Creek area.

Suzanne Knudson, 59, was seriously injured after having been attacked by a bear sow with two cubs.


Knudson was jogging alone about a mile up the trailhead from a popular campground when she encountered the bears.

She suffered puncture wounds to her neck and back injuries, but her injuries are not life threatening. She wasn't carrying bear repellent, according to the troopers.