A 16-year-old runner was killed when participating in the juniors division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb in Alaska this weekend.
According to the Alaska Dispatch News, a park ranger shot the bear in the face, but it ran away.
“Rangers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game were still looking for the animal Sunday night on the slope overlooking Turnagain Arm southeast of Anchorage.”
The teen was said to be halfway through the race when he texted a relative that he was being chased by a bear. That relative, who was at the finish line, let race officials see the communication and a search was launched by race director Brad Precosky.
The paper further reports, “The family member had GPS coordinates from the missing runner’s phone that helped guide searchers to the area where his phone was.”
Searchers and runners that were part of the race, couldn’t get close, however, as the bear remained in the area near the teen’s body.
The report continues: “The runner was found about a mile from the trailhead about 500 yards off the trail in steep, heavily wooded terrain at about a 30-degree slope, Crockett [a park ranger with Chugach State Park] said. It was not clear how the runner got off the trail, or if he had been chased by the bear to the spot.”
It is reported that bear sightings are uncommon in the area and until further notice, the Bird Ridge trailhead and parking lot are closed as officials continue their search for the bear.