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This is a sad story. Most likely will fuel a lot of what gun to tote talk.


from KTUU TV
http://www.ktuu.com/CMS/templates/alaska_news/master.asp?articleid=13979&zoneid=4

Anchorage couple found dead after apparent bear attack
by Joy Mapaye - Sunday, June 26, 2005

Anchorage, Alaska - Police made a gruesome discovery near Barrow this weekend.

An Anchorage couple rafting down the Hulahula River was apparently mauled and killed by a grizzly bear. Few details are being released until the family is notified.

Barrow police say yesterday that a group of rafters saw a grizzly bear ravaging a campsite and they tried to check things out, but then the bear charged them. The rafters didn't try to come ashore. Instead, they notified Kaktovik police, who then called North Slope Borough Search and Rescue.

A helicopter was dispatched and around midnight it spotted the campsite and the bear. The grizzly fled the scene, but it was later found and shot dead. The bear’s body was sent to Fairbanks for a necropsy.


At the campsite, police found the remains of the couple. The couple is described as being in their late 50s or early 60s and that they were kayaking down the Hulahula River. Now officials are working to recover the victims' remains.


A German television crew working on a documentary about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge went to the scene.

“It is very, very tragic and I was very shocked. When we arrived there, the light -- it was 1:30 in the morning -- the light was wonderful. The whole scene looked like really unreal because it was so beautiful, and then at the same time you had this terrible tragic event,” said Christiane Meier, with the German TV crew.


Police say at this time, they do not suspect any foul play in the incident and they are still trying to figure out what happened.
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Anchorage Daily News Version

wow this was one bad bear. The floaters had a gun but sounds like they never had a chance to use it.


From Anchorage Daily News
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/6649294p-6536014c.html

Couple killed by bear near Hulahula River

By JEANNETTE J. LEE, Associated Press Writer

Published: June 26th, 2005
Last Modified: June 26th, 2005 at 07:49 PM


ANCHORAGE (AP) - Two people camping along the Hulahula River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were killed by a grizzly bear, officials said Sunday.


Officials discovered the bodies and an unused firearm in a tent at a campsite near the river.

The couple, whose names were not released, was believed to be in their late 50s or early 60s, North Slope Borough police said. They were from Anchorage and had been on a recreational rafting trip down the river, Alaska State Troopers said.

The victims were in their tent when the attack occurred, according to Tim DeSpain, spokesperson for Alaska State Troopers.

The campsite was clean, with food stored in bear-proof containers.

"The initial scene indicates that it was a predatory act by the bear," DeSpain said.

The bear was at the site Saturday night when public safety officials arrived. They shot and killed the animal, but did not remove it.

A rafter had seen the animal at the site and notified authorities in Kaktovik.

The couple's injuries were consistent with a bear attack and there were no signs of foul play, said Kelly Alzaharna, a lieutenant with the North Slope Borough Police Department.

There were no other people at the campsite, which was about 12 miles up river from Kaktovik, a community of about 300 on Barter Island and the only village in the refuge.

Officials are not sure when the couple was killed.

The bear's height and weight are unknown because wildlife officials has not yet retrieved its remains, Alzaharna said. The refuge contains grizzly, polar and black bears.

Cathy Harms, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks, confirmed the bear was a grizzly.

Fish and Game officials were alerted at 4 a.m. Sunday, Harms said.

Wildlife officials were taking the bear carcass to Fairbanks on Sunday for a necropsy, which would confirm whether the bear attacked the couple, Harms said.

Alaska State Troopers are retrieving the bodies from the campsite.

Authorities said they would release the victims' names after contacting family members.

The Hulahula River begins at the end of a glacier in the Romanzof Mountains at the eastern end of the Brooks Range.

It flows west and north about 100 miles to Camden Bay in the Beaufort Sea east of Barter Island.

The river is popular for wildlife viewing, rafting and kayaking.
 

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Some folks think we are at the top of the food chain!
 

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My openion, this is my openion only from reading this article, and my experiences.

This Grizzly had probably gotten food from other floaters camps in the past. This drew him in, and when he did not find food outside the tent, he went looking inside. Found what he was looking for, and did what he does naturally.

You think about this everytime you come out of your tent in the morning, and find Grizzly tracks all around camp, that wern't there when you went to bed last night.
 

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People need to remember that the best weapon against any animal is located between the ears. A firearm helps but is no guarantee. And sometimes the aforementioned doesn't help either. Lawdog
:toast:
 

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real possible Sourdough

Yeah Sourdough, I was thinking the same thing about a bear used to getting food. And wasn't this camp only 12 miles from Kaktovik? That's an afternoon stroll for some of these bears. It may have learned all kinds of bad habits. But usually around the villages bears learn to be afraid of humans or they get shot.

Well maybe not always, there's been a sow and 2 yearling cubs prowling around Dillingham the last 2 days now that people's fish racks are filling and the smoke houses going. Man, even I can smell some of the smoke houses a good half mile down wind. Makes me hungry evey time - no wonder the bears come.


What bad luck for those campers. Tonight's news named them and an ADFG biologist said it looked like they were trying to do everything right. Wonder if they'll find some old bullet wounds on this bear. Hope we hear about the necropsy.
 

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This river is a populer river for floaters. You will find it listed in all the books on floating alaska rivers. And most tourist are not up on what to do and not do in bear country. I never prepair a meal in camp, I always do my cooking at least 150 to 200 yards from camp. When floating we always eat about an hour before we stop for camp. That way there is no food oders stirred up for that niights camp. In the morning we still fix breakfast out away from camp so cooking oders don't get on the tents or gear. Especially if we are cooking fish.
 

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Sourdough said:
This river is a populer river for floaters. You will find it listed in all the books on floating alaska rivers. And most tourist are not up on what to do and not do in bear country. I never prepair a meal in camp, I always do my cooking at least 150 to 200 yards from camp. When floating we always eat about an hour before we stop for camp. That way there is no food oders stirred up for that niights camp. In the morning we still fix breakfast out away from camp so cooking oders don't get on the tents or gear. Especially if we are cooking fish.
From the news reports, these were very experienced back country travelers here in AK. Saw an interview with their son and he said they always stopped a few miles before camp to cook their evening meal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
no necropsy yet

I checked the same news outlets I copied at the beginning of this thread and no necropsy has been reported yet. Troopers released some of t he camp photos showing bear spray still in a Ziplock bag and a messed up tent. Might just be one of those truly bad or hungry bears. But I still suspect he had bad attitude / habits from being close to the village. Or gained them from sloppy campers like Sourdough speculates.

I've gotten sloppy about cooking around my camp. Used to cook well away or across the river but got tired of the hassle. Had one scary night about 3-4 yrs ago with a bear prowling all over the sand bar, sniffing and growling but he ran off and stayed away the one time he started marching to close to the tent. Stayed out of my boat too though I think he sniffed around it. I think I'll be more careful next time out. But I mostly use freeze dried food - less smelly waste and not as fragrant as frying foods in a skillet.
 
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