Two men from Anchorage, Alaska, were mauled by a brown bear on the remote Kenai Peninsula this weekend. The two trappers were rigging coyote snares in the woods near the Kenai River when the attack occurred, reports the Anchorage Daily News.
The unidentified men had separated to set their traps, but remained within earshot of one another. Suddenly one of the trappers heard roaring and growling, and his partner began to yell.
The man sprinted back to find a brown bear attacking his friend. He shouted at the bear, which abandoned the attack and charged him instead. Although he ran at first, the man quickly curled into the fetal position. The pursuing bear pawed at him and ripped his clothes before retuning to its initial victim.
By the time the bear turned tail, the 46-year-old man had sustained two serious bites to the head and lower body. His trapping partner escaped with bruises and managed to load his friend onto their boat. They found medical help soon after the attack, and the seriously injured man was taken to a local hospital. He was later transferred to an Anchorage facility where he remains hospitalized.
When the second trapper returned to the woods the following day to retrieve his snares, he found cub tracks nearby. Alaska Fish and Game officials say the brown bear was probably a surprised sow just trying to protect her young.
Officials have no plans to track or euthanize the bear since the attack occurred in a remote area and appeared to be a typical surprise encounter.