Teen fatally mauled by bear during running race in Alaska

The teen was said to be halfway through the race when he texted a relative that he was being chased by a bear. But the searchers, including runners that were part of the race, couldn't get closer.

The juvenile's remains were transported from the mountain trail and the teen's next of kin were notified of the death.

The boy, who officials have not yet identified, texted his family to say he was being chased by a bear while descending the extremely steep terrain.

Last week, a juvenile and two young adults sustained minor injuries when a female brown bear with two cubs attacked them. Rangers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are still looking for the animal, according to the paper.

The paper further reports, "The family member had Global Positioning System coordinates from the missing runner's phone that helped guide searchers to the area where his phone was".

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The 250-pound bear was shot in the face by a park ranger, but it ran off. Authorities were searching for the wounded bear and said they planned to kill it if found. A "very shaken" relative-it's unclear who-told race director Brad Precosky what was going on. "I heard something above me and thought, maybe that's him", Weddleton told the media outlet. Sometimes that means nothing; other times, it's really serious. One runner said he had seen a bear circling a teen.

After an extended search, the boy was eventually located off the main trail, about a mile up the path at about 1500 vertical feet. "We didn't know which was which". Weddleton reported the fatality to the formal search party, who were able to have Cooper's body airlifted by helicopter off the mountain.

"This young man didn't do anything wrong", Crockett told ADN. "He was just in the wrong place", ranger Tom Crockett said.

"There were probably a dozen mountain runners up there keeping the bear on its toes", Precosky said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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