Two people camping on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at the mouth of Hidden Creek along the shoreline of Skilak Lake, AK, were injured in a bear attack early Saturday morning, June 12, 2021. They were able to kayak to Upper Skilak Lake Campground, where they were assisted by other campers.
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Alaska State Troopers were contacted via satellite phone, and emergency medical personnel responded by helicopter and ambulance. The two campers were transported to area hospitals.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) Biologists and Federal Wildlife Officers with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service boated to the campsite, retrieving gear and completing an investigation. No bears were found in the area, and sign left at the site was inconclusive. They found a collapsed tent and other camping gear. ADFG is conducting DNA analysis on items collected in an attempt to identify the species of bear involved.
Hidden Creek Trail, which terminates at Skilak Lake near the campsite, was temporarily closed to the public yesterday. It remains signed with warnings to inform visitors of the incident. All of Alaska is bear country, and visitors can remain bear aware during their outdoor adventures using the tips highlighted here.