Two bear attacks, two deaths over two days in Alaska

Two bear attacks, two deaths over two days in Alaska

Two Alaska towns are reeling after separate bear attacks claimed two lives in a span of just two days.

A teen runner died during a Father’s Day race

The first attack happened on Sunday during a mountain race at Chugach State Park southeast of Anchorage. Sixteen-year-old Patrick Cooper was participating in the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb, which takes place in a thickly wooded area.

According to CNN affiliate KTUU, the teen got separated from a group after the race and then texted his family to say he was being chased by a bear. His mother and siblings also participated in the race, and Anchorage Police said runners stopped in their tracks to help locate Cooper once they heard he was in danger.

The Anchorage police and fire departments, Alaska state troopers and the National Guard all joined in the search. They eventually found Cooper’s body being guarded by a large black bear.

Alaska Daily News reported a park ranger shot the bear, but it retreated and rangers are still searching for it.

“This young man didn’t do anything wrong. He was just in the wrong place,” Chugach State Park Ranger Tom Crockett told the newspaper. “You can’t predict which bear is going to be predatory.”

A mine contractor was attacked on the job

Monday morning marked the second incident, when two contract employees with the Pogo Mine were mauled near Delta Junction, Alaska. The employees were collecting geological samples at an exploration site several miles from the mine’s main camp when they were attacked. One employee was injured, and the other was killed.

“Right now we have more questions than answers. Everyone on site is concerned for those involved,” Chris Kennedy, general manager at Pogo Mine told CNN affiliate KTVA.

The bear involved in the attack was killed.

According to the National Park Service, bears are most active in the spring and summer months. They’re about to enter mating season, which begins in July.