A black bear killed a 16-year-old runner yesterday as he was competing in the juniors division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race between Anchorage and Girdwood, AK, according to the Alaska State Troopers.
A Chugach State Park ranger shot the bear in the face yesterday. After being shot, the bear ran away. Rangers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game were still looking for the animal on Sunday night.
“It did definitely take a slug strike to the face when the ranger fired on it. We know he struck it.” – Tom Crockett, Chugach State Park Ranger
The boy had made it to the halfway point of the race and had begun descending when he texted his family at 12:37pm that he was being chased by a bear. That family member told race director Brad Precosky and Precosky immediately launched a search for the boy. The boy was found about a half mile from the trail head but about 500 yards off the trail.
The Bird Ridge trailhead and parking lot will be closed until the bear is located.
The bear is estimated to weigh 250 pounds.
The Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb is in its 29th year.