1 dead from Bear mauling in Bird Creek

During the half-marathon race of the same event, lead runner Chad Trammell came within 50 feet of a black bear while he was alone in the woods at the race's turnaround point. Rangers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are still looking for the animal, according to the paper.

Earlier reports say Cooper texted his mother that he was being chased by the bear, but Precosky said he could not confirm that. A 16-year-old boy competing in a mountain race just south of Anchorage was mauled by a black bear on Sunday.

"There was probably over a dozen mountain runners that were on the scene that were keeping the bear sort of on its toes", Precosky said. That family member then went to inform the race director, Brad Precosky: "I went off and talked to him about it, trying to get a straight story", Precosky told the Alaska Dispatch News.

This year marked the 29th year of the annual trail run southeast of Anchorage.

"We got word that it didn't look good when we got eyes on the bear around 2:30", Precosky said.

A search was launched on the mountain using Global Positioning System coordinates from the runner's phone.

Black bears can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 600 pounds.

One of the runners said he saw a bear circling the teen somewhere off the beaten path. Around 90% of deaths by bears in Alaska are caused by brown bears or grizzlies.

He was on his own after splitting off from the main search party when he heard the rustle of a bear.

"This young man didn't do anything wrong", Crockett told ADN.

According to KTUU, the APD, the Anchorage Fire Dept., Alaska State Troopers, the National Guard, and park rangers were also part of the search.

The Bird Ridge trailhead and parking lot will be closed until the bear is located, Crockett said.

Race organizers say Cooper reportedly called his brother while he was being chased by the animal just before the Sunday afternoon attack. That's when the 16-year-old Anchorage boy encountered the black bear that would take his life in a rare predatory attack.

  • Salvatore Jensen