A hunter spent nearly 36 hours in the Alaskan wilderness awaiting rescue, after being mauled by a brown bear, according to the Alaska National Guard. The grizzly attack took place about 35 miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass, a small Nunamiut Eskimo village in the North Slope Borough of the state.The victim was a member of a guided hunting party.
Initial rescue attempts by locals and Alaska State Troopers were thwarted by dense fog, though luckily, a medical professional from another hunting party happened to be in the vicinity. The mauled hunter had suffered excessive blood loss and various other injuries, and the medic was able to stabilize him while awaiting rescue.
Roughly a day and a half after the attack, the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center got word of the situation, and according to Master Sgt. Armando Soria, the medic at the scene can take credit for saving the man’s life. “He was able to decrease the blood loss and maintain life until help could arrive. He provided expert care with limited resource for several hours, ultimately stabilizing, warming and rehydrating the victim,” Soria said.
The Alaska Air National Guard dispatched an HC-130 plane, carrying a crew of pararescuemen from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage, to meet up with a waiting helicopter at Eielson Air Force Base, near Fairbanks. Both teams then flew 280 miles northwest towards the site of the attack. Upon arrival at Anaktuvuk Pass, the plane’s crew launched flares to help guide the HH-60 helicopter to the site, and also provided refueling between cloud layers.
The landing party, using night-vision goggles, finally reached the injured hunter at about 3 A.M. The victim arrived at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital after 5 A.M., and was listed in stable condition, as of Saturday.
No details concerning the actual mauling were released.
In related news, four people near Yellowstone were also recently attacked by grizzly bears.