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Teen mauled to death by bear during race in Alaska - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Teen mauled to death by bear during race in Alaska

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A teen taking part in a race was mauled to death by a black bear in Alaska. A teen taking part in a race was mauled to death by a black bear in Alaska.

(KTUU) A parent's worst nightmare came to life this Father's Day when a teen running an annual Alaska trail race was fatally mauled by a bear.

Law enforcement officials and fellow competitors said  16-year-old Patrick Cooper was participating in the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb at Bird Ridge, which was being run for the 29th year straight.

Dozens of runners, including the teen, toed the starting line that morning. The mountain race begins at the start of Bird Creek Trail, and meanders through heavily wooded terrain. 

"I've been running in the mountains for 30 years," said Brad Precosky, a director of the race. "People come down off the trail and say they've run into a bear. Sometimes that means nothing; other times, it's really serious. Like this."

The teenager reportedly called his brother during the race, sometime around 12:30, saying he was being chased by a bear.

"The mother was here with her family, her children," said Anchorage Police Dept. Sgt. Nathan Mitchell. "They were running the race."

Precosky said the teen's fellow competitors had lost him in thick brush. When one came barreling down the trail saying there had been an attack, he said, the entire race crew went into crisis mode. 

Responders ultimately located the boy, whose body was found about a mile up the path, at about 1,500 vertical feet (457 vertical meters). Precosky says the bear was found at the site, guarding the body.
    
A park ranger shot the 250-pound  bear in the face, but the animal ran away.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2tEw9Ag

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