Black bears behind 2 fatal Alaska maulings

Authorities have identified a 16-year-old who was killed by a bear during a weekend Alaskan trail race as Patrick Cooper of Anchorage. As for the ascent, that's a 3,400-foot vertical climb that spans three miles for adult racers and half that for juniors, those who are 17 and younger taking on the mountain. That relative, who was at the finish line, let race officials see the communication and a search was launched by race director Brad Precosky. "He was very shaken and had received this communication".

Other runners say they had lost the teen in thick brush and, when they came running down the trail to report the attack, runners and officials ran to help.

"I went off and talked to him about it, trying to get a straight story", Precosky told the newspaper. The bear came by me, maybe about ten feet away, and then I saw him. "No motion. He looked terrible".

A park ranger shot the 250lbs bear in the face, but it ran away.

Rangers say it is uncommon for bear encounters on Bird Ridge, and they couldn't say why the bear attacked.

It's the second fatal mauling since Sunday in the nation's largest state.

"It did definitely take a slug strike to the face when the ranger fired on it", he told the Alaska Dispatch. "We didn't know which was which".

The teen would be the only one to not make it down the mountain on Sunday.

"There was a brown bear sighting, there was a black bear with cubs sighting".

Further details are not known, but a park ranger has remarked that the young man did not do anything wrong, his only fault was that he happened to be in the wrong place. Rangers are now trying to locate and kill the bear.

Race organizers say Cooper reportedly called his brother while he was being chased by the animal just before the Sunday afternoon attack.

Today biologists with the wildlife fish and game continued the search at bird ridge trail for the black bear involved in the fatal mauling. 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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