A hunting trip to the remote wilderness of Alaska went awry for a group of deer hunters after they were attacked by a group of brown bears. While most of the hunters escaped safely, an elderly man among the group was severely injured, reports CNN. The bear attack took place on the remote Sally Island, where the hunters had come for deer hunting. The injured man has been identified as Michael Snowden from Alaska. Some reports mention his age to be 68.
According to an official statement released by the U.S. Coast Guard, the man, along with his hunting party, were carrying the carcass of a deer they had shot towards their fishing vessel when the bear attack took place. While the coast guard hasn’t confirmed the number of animals that were involved in the bear attack, the CNN report says the group was attacked by at least five bears. An earlier report by NBC News had put the number of bears at three. According to that report, two of the bears were fatally shot by one of the hunters. This is yet to be confirmed.
While most of the members managed to fend off the attack, one 65-year-old man was brutally mauled by one of the bears and was seriously injured. The hunting party was initially unaware of the bears congregating to attack the group of men. They were in fact alerted by the master of the fishing vessel they had used to come to the island.
It is highly unusual for a group of bears to carry out an attack on humans, the U.S. Coast Guard said in the statement.
“The fact that there were five bears was an abnormality and this serves as a reminder that anything can happen and we need to be aware of our surroundings,” said Lt. Joseph Schlosser, operational unit watchstander for the Coast Guard 17th District.
Meanwhile, the master of the fishing vessel Mary J alerted coast guard officials about the attack and told them about Mr. Snowden requiring urgent medical assistance. Soon, help arrived in the form of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The man was medevaced from the island and flown to the Kodiak Municipal Airport and then handed over to emergency medical services. A video released by the Coast Guard (embedded below) shows the man being evacuated following the bear attack.
This is not the first time we have heard of bear attacks in the United States this year. Earlier, the Inquisitr reported about quite a few bear attack cases, the latest one being late last month when the body of a hiker was almost completely eaten by a black bear.
[Image Via ABC News]