'Really odd': 2 fatal maulings in 2 days by Alaska black bears

'Really odd': 2 fatal maulings in 2 days by Alaska black bears

'Really odd': 2 fatal maulings in 2 days by Alaska black bears

A 16-year-old U.S. teen mauled to death by a bear during an Alaskan running race managed to text his Mum during the attack.

Patrick Cooper of Anchorage, Alaska, was running Sunday in the juniors division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Race director Brad Precosky told KTUU, "One of the brothers of the kid that was up there ran down and came to talk to me, and said his brother was in trouble and that he was being chased by a bear".

It took a couple hours for responders to locate the teen, whose body was found about a mile up the path.

Alaska State Troopers stated that Patrick Cooper's remains were airlifted from the scene on the mountain on Sunday.

A Chugach State Park ranger shot the 250-pound (113-kilogram) bear in the face, but the animal ran away.

Little information was available Monday about the attack on the Pogo contractor that left a second contract employee injured. Marsh said the bear's attack was likely a predatory one, though such types of attacks are rare when it comes to black bears, which usually attack only to defend themselves or their cubs.

Every July runners tackle steep terrain and a frigid glacial river crossing on a trail between Girdwood and Eagle River. Black bears killed three.

Cooper rang his brother to tell him that he was being chased by the bear and had taken a wrong turn during the race.

"It's very unusual", Mr Marsh said.

Athletes who run wilderness races in Alaska know bear encounters are always an inherent possibility. "It's sort of like someone being struck by lightning".

Precosky said a thorough search was conducted when emergency services arrived, KTUU reports. Still, there's no guarantee of 100 percent safety, as a weekend mountain race proved with the fatal mauling of a 16-year-old boy. Bear sightings are common in that part of Alaska, and runners know to be wary, Precosky said. "Everyone on site is concerned for those involved", Chris Kennedy, general manager at Pogo Mine, said in a statement, according to Alaska Dispatch News.

"So, I'm yelling 'bear!' to warn the other people".

"The longer you stand there, even if it's running toward you, the greater chance the bear will stop short or go around", he said.

Patrick Cooper, of Anchorage, was competing in the annual mountain race on Sunday, going through rugged terrain when he encountered the animal.

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