A hiker in Alaska's Denali Park took numerous photos of a Grizzly bear only to have the bear then maul him to death. Park Superintendent Paul Anderson said the recovered camera shows the bear simply grazing and not being aggressive.
"They (the photos) show the bear grazing in the willows, not acting aggressive in any form or manner during that period of time," Anderson said of the incident, which took place Friday. He added that the photos show the hiker was within 50 yards of the bear and that park rules require people to go no closer than a quarter of a mile from bears. The dead hiker seems to have taken photos for 8 minutes, Anderson said.
The grizzly, initially spotted sitting atop the remains of the hiker, was shot by park wardens and will be examined to determine it was in fact the bear that killed the man, described only as a U.S. citizen. The man's remains have been recovered.
Denali National Park: training to hikers
It's the first fatal bear attack in the history of Denali National Park. "Over the years, and especially since the 1970s, the park has worked very diligently to minimize the conflict between humans and wildlife in the park," Anderson said. "We have some of the most stringent human-wildlife conflict regulations in the National Park system, and I think those are largely responsible for the fact that there hasn't been a fatal attack."
All hikers, including the deceased hiker, go through a brief training period before being granted access to the park, including watching a 30 minute instructional video. The training includes how to conduct oneself if a bear is encountered.
The park is 240 miles north of Anchorage.