Bears Maul Hiker Near Bird Ridge

A bear mauling in the Bird Creek area has sent one woman to an Anchorage hospital. At about 10:20 Monday morning, Alaska State Troopers got a call for help from a hiker on the Penguin Ridge trail.

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Alaska State Trooper’s spokeswoman Megan Peters says  Troopers from Girdwood and emergency responders reached the scene, to find Suzanne Knudson, of Indian,  age 59, with serious injuries, after having been attacked by a bear sow with two cubs.

 ”Ms Knudson told us that while she was jogging she saw two brown bear cubs essentially come out of the brush onto the trail in front of her. One of the cubs started to come towards her, and while that was happening she said she was hit from the side of behind by the mother bear.”

Some ATV riders found Knudson moments after the attack, and when Troopers arrived, an ATV driver  gave the responding Trooper an ATV and guided him to Knudson. She was later medevaced to Anchorage.

Peters says the woman was jogging alone about a mile up the trailhead from a popular campground when she encountered the bears. Knudson suffered puncture wounds to her neck and back injuries, but her injuries are not life threatening.

Troopers say the woman was wearing headphones at the time of the attack and was not carrying bear deterant.

Alaska Fish and Game has closed the trail due to bear activity.


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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone.
Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA
elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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