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Indiana man in ‘stable condition’ after grizzly bear attack at Denali National Park, officials say

In this file photo, a grizzly and her large cub roam alongside Denali Park Road. (National Park...
In this file photo, a grizzly and her large cub roam alongside Denali Park Road. (National Park Service)(KTVF)
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 1:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A 55-year-old Indiana man who was attacked by a grizzly bear in the Denali National Park and Preserve on Monday is in “stable condition,” park officials said.

According to a press release from the park, the man was hiking alone at the Thoroughfare Pass area of the park when he was attacked by a bear with two cubs.

“While hiking through dense fog, the visitor stated that a grizzly with two 1- or 2-year-old cubs nearby charged at him from bushes approximately 100 feet away,” the release stated. “He was able to deploy bear spray, but only after the bear had knocked him down.”

Park officials said the man sustained puncture wounds to his calf, left ribs and left shoulder.

The bear ran away following the attack, allowing the man to escape toward the Eielson Visitor Center — a 1.5-mile trek.

Upon reaching the visitor center, park officials said he caught up to a park transit bus that was traveling with medical personnel who were on vacation at the park. The good Samaritans administered first aid while the bus driver tried to get an ambulance.

Park rangers transported the Indiana man out of the park with an ambulance vehicle and passed him to a Tri-Valley medical team, the release said. Medics then transported the injured man to the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Park officials said they do not plan on locating the bear due to the “apparent defensive nature of this attack.”

“Female bears with cubs are naturally defensive of their young, especially when surprised,” the release stated. “There is no indication that this bear is unusually dangerous.”

Park officials have closed backcountry units 11 and 12 to all backcountry travel for one week.

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