The Washington Post

Teens recovering after bear attack in Alaska

A grizzly bear. (Jim Urquhart/AP)

This post has been updated with an interview of one of the victims.

A group of seven teens learning survival skills in the Alaskan wilderness were attacked by a grizzly bear with her cub Saturday evening. Four of the teens were injured, two badly.

Alaska State Troopers found the students using a locating beacon and transported them from the scene by helicopter, according to a press release from the National Outdoor Leadership School. The had been waiting nine hours for resuce.

Bruce Palmer , a spokesman for the school, said that Joshua Berg, 17 of New York, and Samuel Gottsegen, 17 of Denver, sustained the worst injuries, according to the Associated Press. A hospital spokesperson said both are in serious condition. Gottsegen’s father told the “Today” show, “We’re just so thankful and relieved that he’s okay.”

“I thought I was going to die when I was being attacked. I was so scared,” Samuel Gottsegen, who suffered a bear bite to the chest, told 7News in Denver by phone. “I looked behind me and the bear was behind me. So, I started running down the hill and it tackled me on the way down.”

Gottsegen said the other students made a bandage out of a garbage bag.

The students were participating a 30-day backpacking course run by NOLS. The course is offered to students 16 and older, according to the school’s Web site , and promises participants will “become a seasoned wilderness traveler, learning how to read a map, navigate off trail, and scan the horizon for grizzly bears, black bears, moose, wolves, and Dall sheep.” The teens were hiking without an instructor because they had reached a point in the course when students set out alone.

Earlier this month, a man visiting Yellowstone National Park was killed by a grizzly after he and his wife came upon a mama bear and her cubs.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans