Brown bear bites hiker on Upper Kenai River Trail in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

In this file photo from April 2021, A brown bear walks upriver near Brooks Falls in Katmai...
In this file photo from April 2021, A brown bear walks upriver near Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park.(KTUU)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 10:32 AM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 2:18 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A brown bear bit a hiker on the Upper Kenai River Trail in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday night, according to the refuge officials.

The hiker was walking their dog without a leash when they came across a brown bear sow with two small cubs, officials said, about one mile from the trailhead off Skilak Lake Road.

No details were released about the hiker’s condition, but they managed to get out of the area and seek medical attention on their own, according to a refuge press release.

“The adult male’s dog chased the bear which caused the sow to charge the hiker,” Alaska State Troopers wrote in an online dispatch report.

The man reported he was bitten on the arm, troopers wrote. The hiker went into the Kenai River, and the bear followed him, according to troopers, where it bit him once more on the shoulder.

At that point, the bear retreated, troopers wrote in their release. The hiker went back to his vehicle and contacted emergency services. Troopers wrote in the dispatch that he had bear spray but wasn’t able to deploy it.

Law enforcement closed the trail to the public for their investigation, according to the refuge. The hiker was taken to a hospital on the Kenai Peninsula for non-life threatening injuries, according to troopers.

Authorities have not let located the bear.

The release added that the dog is still loose in the area. Troopers described it as a 13-month-old border collie. If anyone sees an unattended dog in the area, contact the refuge headquarters at (907) 262-7021.

Correction: The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge announced a correction stating the bear attack occurred at the Upper Kenai River Trail, not Hidden Creek Trail as first reported.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information from the Alaska State Troopers.

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