A group of seven teenagers who'd been learning survival skills in the Alaska wilderness were attacked Saturday night by a brown bear sow with cub.
The teenagers had been in the backcountry for some time, training with the National Outdoor Leadership School, which has a sizable staff focused on outdoors education and training in Palmer, the county seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Southcentral Alaska.
Two of the teenagers were badly mauled by the bear and suffered "serious, life threatening injuries," according to a press release from Megan Peters, a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers and Department of Public Safety. Two others were seriously injured but sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The three others all suffered "minor injuries or had exposure-related issues," Peters said.
All of the teenagers were between 16- and 18-years-old and were from the Lower 48, Peters said. Their families have all been notified, as had counselors at the National Outdoor Leadership School, which is assisting troopers in investigating the accident.
The teenagers were identified as: Samuel Boas, 16 of Westport, Conn.; Noah Allaine, 16, Albuquerque, N.M.; Shane Garlock, 16, Pittsford, N.Y.; Joshua Berg, 17, New York, N.Y.; Samuel Gottsegen, 17, Denver, Colo.; Simeon Melman, Huntington, N.Y.; and Victor Martin, 18, Richmond, Calif.
Troopers at the Talkeetna office received word about 9:30 Saturday night that a beacon assigned to the school had been activated in the wilderness about 34 miles east of mile 143 of the Parks Highway, near Chulitna. ...