Teen lost after Alaska race found dead with black bear over him

Image A map showing location of Alaska's Bird Ridge Trailhead

A map showing the location of the Bird Ridge Trailhead where Sunday's Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb began. Google Maps

A 16-year-old trail runner was cornered and mauled to death by a black bear in Alaska on Sunday just moments after he texted his mother to send help.

While black bear attacks are far less common than brown or grizzly bear encounters, black bears tend to be more "predatory", said Smith, who lives in Utah but still has property on the Kenai Peninsula's Skilak Lake.

Chugach State Park Ranger Tom Crockett stated that although Cooper apparently ran off the main trail, he managed to call one of his brothers.

He reportedly texted a member of his family to say he was being chased by the animal.

Every July runners tackle steep terrain and a frigid glacial river crossing on a trail between Girdwood and Eagle River. The bear was found at the site, guarding the body, Precosky said.

He said: "The boy was lost, separated from his family and went the wrong way his phone Global Positioning System led us to him 500 meters north and 600' below trail ½ way to Bird Creek".

"I got a text saying the Global Positioning System coordinates were accurate and that the bear was onsite guarding the body, and they needed a weapon".

Another teen running in the Alaska race told the officials he had seen a bear circling Cooper.

A park ranger shot the 250-pound bear in the face, but it ran away. A search mission is now underway to find the bear. Sometimes that means nothing; other times, it's really serious. The 24 mile Crow Pass Crossing is scheduled for July 27 this year, through an area known for its bear sightings.

Matt Wedeking, division operations manager with Alaska State Parks, told Fox News the predatory behaviour of the bear in the attack on the teen was not normal.

"In this situation, this is a very, very rare occurrence", Marsh said. We know he struck it. "But right now I don't have any information about the bear".

He's been in involved with the race for 30 years and its director for the last 20. "Whoa, bear!' with my bear spray pointed at him", he told KTVA.

Authorities from multiple agencies arrived to airlift the teen's body. "Mountain runners are never safer than when they are in a race. How often do you have 300 people around you, making noise?"

A park ranger shot the bear in the face and it ran off.

Anchorage Assemblyman John Weddleton described encountering the bear while searching for Cooper.

Brad Benter, commenting on the Alaska Dispatch News Facebook site, said he was also at the scene.

"He was just in the wrong place", Crockett said.

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