Skooter reporting 08/26/12
A hiker took photographs of a grizzly bear for at least eight minutes before the bear attacked and killed him in Alaska’s Denali National Park, the first deadly attack in the park's history, officials said Saturday.
The camera have been recovered by Investigators and looked at the photographs, which show the bear grazing and not acting in a hostile way before the attack, Denali Park Superintendent Paul Anderson said.
Late Saturday, the victim was identified as Richard White, 49, of San Diego. On Friday afternoon, White was backpacking solo along the Toklat River when he encountered the bear within 50 yards, far closer than the quarter-mile of separation required by park rules, officials said.
Officials came to know of the attack after hikers staggered upon an abandoned backpack along the river about three miles from a rest area on Friday afternoon. They also found torn clothing and blood. They hurriedly hiked back and informed staff park.
A huge male grizzly bear was spotted by rangers in a helicopter sitting on the hiker's lifeless body, which they termed a "food cache" in the underbrush about 100 to 150 yards from the site of the attack on Friday.
On Saturday, a state trooper shot and killed the male bear. Officials examined the bear's stomach contents, as they looked at White's photos and used other tests Saturday evening to verify that it was the animal that killed White, park officials said . On Saturday evening, White’s remains were retrieved and sent to the medical examiner in Anchorage.
It was reported that there's no sign that the man's death was the result of anything other than a bear attack. It's the first known fatal mauling in the park's nearly century-long history.
Denali is more than 6 million acres and is located 240 miles north of Anchorage. it is home to numerous wild animals, including bears, wolves, caribou and moose.