ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 55-year-old Indiana man is recuperating in stable condition Tuesday at a Fairbanks hospital after being mauled by a bear in Denali National Park and Preserve.
The man, who has not been identified, was hiking alone Monday evening in Thoroughfare Pass south of the park road when a grizzly with two 1- or 2-year-old cubs attacked him, the park said in a statement Tuesday. There was dense fog in the area, and the bear attacked from about 100 feet (30 meters) away.
The man was able to use his bear spray, but only after he was knocked to the ground. The man suffered puncture wounds to his calf, left ribs and left shoulder, the statement said.
The bear left quickly after the attack, the park said, and the man was able to walk 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) to the Eielson Visitor Center, which is 66 miles (106 kilometers) from the park entrance.
He was taken by a park bus to an ambulance at the park entrance, and medical professionals on board the bus administered first aid. He was later transferred to medics, who delivered him to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital about 120 miles (193.12 kilometers) away.
Park officials said there were no plans to locate the bear involved since the attack appeared to be defensive in nature.
“Female bears with cubs are naturally defensive of their young, especially when surprised. There is no indication that this bear is unusually dangerous,” the statement said.
Some backcountry areas near the attack site have been closed for a week.