Lifestyle & Belief

Grizzly bear mauls group of 7 teens in Alaskan wilderness


An American grizzly bear. Grizzlies are responsible for three fatal attacks so far in 2011 — on hunters and hikers. A grizzly also attacked a group of teenage boys learning survival skills in the Alaskan wilderness, mauling two badly.


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A group of seven teenage boys who were learning survival skills in the Alaskan wilderness was attacked Saturday night by a grizzly bear with her cub, according to the Alaska Dispatch.

Two of the teens were badly mauled by the bear and suffered "serious, life threatening injuries," the Dispatch reported, citing a press release from Megan Peters, a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers and Department of Public Safety. Two others were seriously injured with non-life-threatening injuries. The other three had "minor injuries or had exposure-related issues," Peters said.

The students were participating in a 30-day backcountry course by the National Outdoor Leadership School when the attack happened in the Talkeetna Mountains north of Anchorage, according to the Associated Press. They were rescued early Sunday.

The boys told troopers that they first saw the bear around 8:30 p.m. while crossing a river single file, KTVA reported. The teens in front of the line yelled back to the others about the approaching bear. Troopers said that the two students at the front of the line got the full force of the attack.

There were no instructors with the teens, as they were far along in the program, the 24th day of a 30-day backpacking course to learn about teamwork and wilderness-related skills, according to the Wyoming-based program, CNN reported.

After the attack, the teens set up camp, applied first aid and activated an emergency personal locator beacon, Peters said, according to the Associated Press. They were found and airlifted out by helicopter and medical transport aircraft to hospitals.

According to KTVA, the members of the group, whose families have been contacted, are:

Joshua Berg, 17, New City, New York
Samuel Gottsegen, 17, Denver, Colorado
Samuel Boas, 16, Westport, Connecticut
Noah Allaine, 16, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Simeon Melman, 17, Huntington, New York
Victor Martin, 18, Richmond, California
Shane Garlock, 16, Pittsford, New York

Troopers were searching the area for the bear and for another group of seven students and three instructors from the same program who were still out in the wilderness, and probably unaware of the attack.