Bears mauled two more people in Alaska Saturday, bringing the total of bear attacks to four in less than a week, with two people dead.
Wildlife officials in Alaska are not certain why there has been a spike in bear attacks recently, though one official suggested the reason could be that prey animals are distributed closer to human settlements this year, according to an Associated Press report Monday. The two most recent attacks occurred Saturday, both in separate locations. Both victims survived and will recover.
The first attack happened on military property when a brown bear pushed a biker, James Frederick, off of his bike and began to maul him, according to a report from Fox News. Frederick’s friend, Alex Ippoliti, administered first aid to Frederick with a makeshift tourniquet and shouted at the bear until it moved on.
“Alex straight up saved my life,” Fredrick said. “I’d be dead right now without Alex.”
The second attack occurred 100 miles away in a community called Hope where a man, Joshua Brekken, fell afoul of a mother bear and her cub while looking for firewood. Brekken tried to escape the bear by climbing a tree, but Alaskan State Troopers said the mother bear swatted him out of the tree and ran away with her cub.
These attacks came just days after black bears killed two people 300 miles apart from one another. The first victim was a 16-year-old boy running a race in Anchorage, and the second was a contract employee for a gold mining operation. Both attacks were fatal, with one other person at the gold mining operation sustaining nonlethal injuries.
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