Bear kills 16-year-old boy during mountain race in Alaska

The teen was running in the juniors division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race which takes runners up the Bird Ridge trail north of Girdwood just off the Seward Highway

A black bear mauls a teenager to death during a mountain race in Alaska

A teenager was mauled to death by a bear near an Alaskan trail Sunday during an annual mountain race, authorities said.

A 16-year-old runner in a Bird Ridge mountain race was killed by a black bear he apparently encountered while descending the trail Sunday, Alaska State Troopers and the race director said. As for the ascent, that's a 3,400-foot vertical climb that spans three miles for adult racers and half that for juniors, those who are 17 and younger taking on the mountain. "He was very shaken and had received this communication". Crockett said reports of bears are not common in Bird Ridge, adding that no bear sightings were reported in the area last week.

"I heard something above me and thought, maybe that's him", Weddleton said, according to the news site. "No motion. He looked bad", Weddleton told KTUU-TV.

A Chugach State Park ranger shot the bear in the face, but it ran away. "Like this", said Race Director, Brad Precosky.

Brown, black and even polar bears are common in Alaska, according to the state's Department of Fish and Game.

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"It did definitely take a slug strike to the face when the ranger fired on it", Crockett told ADN. "We didn't know which was which". The body was airlifted away because of the rugged terrain.

The trail was closed as wildlife officials continued to search for the wounded bear.

"The mother was here with her family, her children", noted Anchorage Police Dept. Sgt. Nathan Mitchell.

Further details are not known, but a park ranger has remarked that the young man did not do anything wrong, his only fault was that he happened to be in the wrong place.

Shortly thereafter, officials located the juvenile who was deceased from injuries sustained during the bear mauling. He also added that it is hard for anyone to predict how an animal will behave or react to a given situation and which bear is a predator.

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