Hunter Killed by Grizzly Bear in Alaska at Largest U.S. National Park

Hunter Killed by Grizzly Bear in Alaska at Largest U.S. National Park

09/23/2020

A hunter was killed by a grizzly bear at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska on Sunday, the first known bear fatality in the country’s largest national park.

The hunter was with a friend on a 10-day moose hunt at the park, which is located in southeast Alaska, when the incident occurred near the Chisana River drainage, the National Park Service said in a news release.

The hunter’s identity is being withheld pending an investigation, and the cause of death and type of injuries sustained remain unclear.

The NPS said it was the first known bear mauling fatality at Wrangell-St. Elias since the park was established in 1980.

“Visitors are encouraged to be Bear Aware when traveling in the backcountry and take precautions such as carrying bear spray and using Bear Resistant Food Containers,” the release said.

Guidelines issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for staying safe around bears vary based on the situation, but hunters are advised to never approach a bear, and to remain calm and make yourself appear larger if you are approached. Running is also not advised, as it may elicit a chase response.

Wrangell-St. Elias, the largest national park in the U.S., is the same size as Yellowstone, Yosemite and Switzerland combined, at 13.2 million acres, according to the NPS.

It’s known for its mountains, rivers and glaciers, and also contains one of the largest active volcanoes in North America.

The height of the bears in the park range from 4.5 feet to 6 or 7 feet tall, and they can measure up to 9 feet when standing. They weigh between 300 and 1,500 pounds, the NPS said.

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