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Hunter rescued after northern Alaska bear mauling

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:34 a.m. HST, Aug 17, 2013

ANAKTUVUK PASS, Alaska » Crews equipped with night-vision goggles and flares staged a middle-of-the-night rescue to reach a hunter more than 36 hours after he was mauled by a brown bear in northern Alaska's remote Brooks Range, the Alaska Air National Guard said.

The man was part of a group on a guided hunting trip about 30 miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass, a tiny Nunamiut Eskimo village in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Initial rescue efforts by local search teams and by the Alaska State Troopers were turned back because of dense fog.

The 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center learned of the man's plight Thursday, about 36 hours after the attack, and offered to help, the Guard said in a release. The man had suffered severe blood loss and other injuries, but a medical professional who happened to be in a nearby hunting party reached him soon after the attack.

Officials credited the medical professional with saving the man's life.

"He was able to decrease the blood loss and maintain life until help could arrive," said Master Sgt. Armando Soria, a search and rescue controller with the coordination center. "He provided expert care with limited resource for several hours, ultimately stabilizing, warming and rehydrating the victim."

No details about the bear attack were released.

The Alaska Air National Guard sent a search-and-rescue plane carrying a helicopter crew from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage.

They landed at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, where a helicopter had been prepared for them. Together, the plane and helicopter headed more than 280 miles northwest to the victim.

The plane's crew launched illumination flares to guide the HH-60 helicopter through Anaktuvuk Pass and to help find the site. The HC-130 plane also refueled the helicopter during the flight, between cloud layers.

The helicopter reached the victim before 3 a.m. Friday.

The man, who has not been identified, was brought to the Air Force base just before 5 a.m., then taken by ambulance to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. He was listed in stable condition there today.

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sailfish1 wrote:
Sometimes the hunter becomes the prey.
on August 17,2013 | 12:26PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
That's what animals do naturally. How ironic. Prey becomes predator. Hunter hangs on for dear life. If that were me, I would make peace and do right.
on August 17,2013 | 03:23PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Bear ... 1 .............. A..hole ...0
on August 17,2013 | 01:19PM
Grimbold wrote:
Hanalei, do you know the "A.hole" victim? Your comments are always beyond reason.
on August 18,2013 | 03:58AM
hanalei395 wrote:
No sense of humor. ...... If one goes out to kill for fun, the fun belonged to the bear.
on August 18,2013 | 05:21AM
SteveToo wrote:
Lucky Live Hawai`i
on August 17,2013 | 01:37PM
Bothrops wrote:
Alaska Air National Guard: That's what they do.
on August 17,2013 | 02:23PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Hats off to that medical professional and the Air Force rescue team.
on August 17,2013 | 03:19PM
bluespop wrote:
Good for the bear.
on August 17,2013 | 04:01PM
unobra wrote:
Da Bears
on August 18,2013 | 06:13AM
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