A brown bear and her cub mauled a group of teenage boys participating in a survival skills course deep in the Alaskan wilderness Sunday.
Two of the teens, participating in a survival skills course, suffered life-threatening injuries, Alaska State Troopers said in a press release, and two had injuries that were labeled "serious, but non-life-threatening."
The spokeswoman for the state police said those four are in critical condition, while three others had minor injuries or exposure-related issues. She added:
"They were mauled, very severely. It was truly an emergency situation."
Between ages 16 to 18 and from all around the country, the boys said that they followed protocol in calling out to warn the bears and carrying bear spray, according to the wilderness program.
The visitor was hiking with his wife along the Wapiti Lake trail when he surprised a female grizzly bear with her cubs, the park service said. The bear attacked and fatally wounded the man in an attempt to defend her cubs.
A group of nearby hikers called police after they heard the victim's wife crying for help.
"It is extremely unfortunate that this couple's trip into the Yellowstone backcountry has ended in tragedy. Our heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with their loss."
We share this sentiment.
This is the first bear-caused human fatality in Yellowstone since 1986, Nash said. Bear attacks are extremely rare.
An Alaska bear hunter who was severely mauled by a grizzly over the weekend has been flown to Seattle in critical condition Monday.
Nome resident Wes Perkins, 54, was listed in critical condition and in intensive care, a spokeswoman for the hospital said.
It was the USA's first bear attack of 2011.
"As far as I know, this is the first significant incident of the year," said a special assistant with the department.
Perkins, a former Nome fire chief, was attacked on by the large bear that he and two companions were tracking by snowmobile outside of Nome. The other men in the hunting party shot and killed the bear and called for help by radio.