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Bear Kills Two...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Keith, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    A first for this particular park...

    Bear suspected of killing two people in Katmai National Park
    Bodies of man and woman from California found by pilot

    The Associated Press

    (Published: October 7, 2003)

    KING SALMON -- A man and a woman were fatally mauled in a bear attack in Katmai National Park and Preserve - the first known bear killings in the 4.7-million-acre park, National Park Service officials said Tuesday.

    The bodies were found near Kaflia Bay on Monday when a pilot with Andrew Airways arrived to pick them up and take them to Kodiak, Alaska State Troopers said. The park is on the Alaska Peninsula.

    The pilot saw a bear, possibly on top of a body, in the camp and contacted the Park Service in King Salmon and troopers in Kodiak.

    Park rangers encountered an aggressive bear when they arrived at the campsite and killed it. Investigators then found human remains buried by a bear near the campsite, which was in a brushy area with poor visibility.

    No weapons were found at the scene, Park Service spokeswoman Jane Tranel said.

    The victims, believed to be in their late 30s to early 40s, were from Malibu, Calif. Their identities are being withheld pending notification of relatives.

    The remains and the entire campsite were packed out Monday and transported to Kodiak on the Andrew Airways flight.

    As the plane was being loaded, another aggressive bear approached and was killed by park rangers and troopers.

    The bodies were flown to the state medical examiner's office for autopsy.

    Dean Andrew, owner of Andrew Airways, said the pilot was too upset to comment. The company had been flying the man out to Katmai for 13 years and the woman for the last couple of years. Andrew said the man was an experienced outdoorsman.

    "We were all good friends with him," he said. "We haven't had time to deal with it."

    The pair were photographing and watching bears at the Kaflia Bay lakes, usually not frequented by visitors, according to Park Service spokesman John Quinley. He said bears are attracted to the area by a late run of salmon passing through lakes.

    Other areas along the Katmai coast are popular destinations for watching bears.

    In the mid-1980s, a brown bear mauled the body of a visitor who drowned, but this week's attacks are the first known bear killings in the park, Quinley said.

    Rangers were returning to the site Tuesday.
  2. DorGunR

    DorGunR Well-Known Member

    No weapons were found at the scene, Park Service spokeswoman Jane Tranel said.

    Strange......going into bear country unarmed.:(
  3. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    He was from California...

    On the other hand he's been going up there for 13 years.

    Problem with a single car accident is.. well no-one is left to say what happpened. Hope they got the RIGHT bear.
  4. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    The weird thing is, I think I know who this guy is...

    If it is who I think it is, I'm not surprised this happened. More later when I learn some details!

    Kaflia bay is about 40 miles west of here. And the pilot who brought them back flies out of the lake across the street from my house.

  5. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    This can't have happened.

    Everyone knows bear attacks are just figments of an overactive imagination.

    They should have taken some pixie dust with them to ward off the bears.


    PS: I like to carry my pixie dust in little brass containers ;)
  6. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    Just for some reference. Katmai is over 4 million acres and you can't get there except by plane or boat. There are no roads, no towns, no nothing. A couple of thousand people a year go in there and almost all of them go to one place in the park - McNeil River falls where they maintain a bear viewing site. They fly people in there to stand on a platform and take pictures of the bears, and then they fly them out.
    The other 99.9% of the park is almost never visited because you can't get there without dropping thousands of dollars in air charter fares. No people - no bear maulings...

    Edited to add: That's Brooks River Falls - not McNeil river...

  7. Bigjake

    Bigjake Well-Known Member

    well, at least they are moraly superior than if they had broken the law and carried a good sturdy 45-70 into the park..:uhoh:
  8. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    Bear #1: "Burp ..." :barf:

    Bear #2: "You can't keep a good man down"
  9. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    Yup! I just spoke to someone who is involved and it IS who I thought it was... I'm not surprised this happened because he was really pushing his luck!

    I won't post the name because I'm sure family members haven't been notified as yet.

    I'll post some details tomorrow, or later today if the name is released by the press.

  10. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

    Just ask Roy Horn how predictable WILD animals are. Same goes for domesticed animals and, for that matter, humans.
  11. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    Always interesting what happens when man finds out that he's not always at the top of the food chain...
  12. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Tall, darn you, stealing my line.:D I thought my Vulcan mind meld would put an end to these bear threads. Darn, bears, never listen.

    Mike, never had that problem. I kill them.

    It's . . . a . . . wild . . . animal; kill it!!! Silly, druids, maulings are for magic unicorns. :D
  13. longtom4570

    longtom4570 Well-Known Member

    were there any bells?:evil:
  14. Common sense would tell you to bring something to defend yourself with. Are these people suicidal?
  15. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    how could that happen?

    didn't they have any whistles or pots and pans to bang together?:evil:

    Is it true you are not permitted to bring guns to this place?:confused:
  16. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    Hey now - this is a tragedy! Two people have been killed and partially eaten. Families are waiting for positive identification of the bodies. There's nothing funny about this.

    This guy is very well known and many of you are going to recognize this individual when the names are released - think Discovery Channel...

  17. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    The deal is; no. You can't bring guns into this particular section of the park.

    This individual goes in every summer when the bears are gorging on salmon, and are fat and happy in consequence. Bears are pretty easy to get along with when they are eating 100 pounds of salmon a day.
    And he has names for the different bears and gets close to them for dramatic footage. He has followed individual bears year after year as they grew up and had cubs of their own. They know him and tolerate him. And he waxes rhapsodic about how nice the bears are, and that you shouldn't fear them because they would never hurt a human.

    And I always watch this footage and annoy everyone by commenting on how he'd be dead if he tried that in the Spring or Fall when the bears are hungry. And it's true. You can get pretty close to brownies when they are on the salmon, but the same bears will kill you if you try that in a hungry times of year - like now!

    And this, apparently, is the first time he's gone in there to film in the Fall - and he's dead, and his girlfriend is dead. And two bears attacked the troopers trying to get the bodies out, and now they're dead.
    I'd have told him that going in at this time of year was a mistake (as would anyone else who lives around here), but, he didn't ask since he's an "expert". Well, he was an expert.

    I hope that doesn't sound harsh... This guy had big brass ones and lived his life on his own terms. You have to admire him for that.

  18. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    I like the old Gary Larson's Far Side cartoon showing two polar bears at an igloo and one saying, "I love these things. Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle."

    I realize this isn't a polar bear issue, but the chewy part stands. Humans are not exactly tough food and without utensils have been food for other animals for eons.

    Fisherfolk often do the salmon runs in Alaska without arms. It is not uncommon to see them sharing a stream with bears, some as close and 15 or 20 yards. Some idiots will even try to get the upper hand on a bear that attacks a hooked fish. Morons. Just about any time you see a fishing show in Alaska, you will see bears. Go figure. Some folks feel confident that they understand bear behavior because they have been there before and don't feel afraid. Morons. Some people have the really stupid idea that animals will only prey on humans as a last resort because human flesh doesn't taste good. Morons.

    What we don't know from this story is the situation of the death of the humans. So humans are easy prey for animals like bears. Even worse is that humans manage overcome natural fear instincts and do extremely stupid things like being in bear country without arms.

    I am curious as to whether or not the bear actually attacked the campers. Granted, the bear had apparently had his way with the campers and the bodies buried. This is fairly typical bear food storage behavior. It may be that the bear killed the people or that the people were otherwise killed and the bear scavenged them. I have seen this in ABQ, NM at the Office of the Medical Investigator. A killed couple had been scavenged by a bear and their bodies buried by trees. Apparently the bear would uncover a corpse, tear off a part, and then carry it some distance away to eat. All in all, parts were found over several hundred yards, but mostly centered around where they couple had been deposited by the killers, their neighbors.

    When it is suggested that the bear attacked the couple, that makes it sound like the bear is at fault. That may or may not be the case. If you go through the "When Bears Attack" book series, control yourself when you read the countless stupid things humans do in bear country. Many of the tales are by survivors of bear attacks. Just about every tale is a horror story of stupid behavior, like the guy packing in a load of butchered fish after a day out on the boat. They docked late and his cabin was 2 miles inland and he proceeded at dusk with the load of fish on his back, no doubt dripping juices and blood as he went along. He even noted having heard bears in the woods, boars, doing the their territorial jousting and then was surprised when he was attacked. Moron.

    Often, people who live by culture should not intrude in the the territory of species that live by nature.
  19. gunsmith

    gunsmith member


    the "expert" got a woman killed!
    It is a damm shame for her and her family.
    As for the guy that put her in that situation,I cant stand idiots like that,
    they are the same ones who question my "need" to take a firearm
    with me into the Sierra Nevada's when I go camping.
    When more stuff like this happens maybe the NPS will
    change idiotic policies like the no firearm rules in Yellowstone,Yosemite etc.

    afaik this is the 2nd bear attack in a NP this year
  20. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    I'm sure this guy didn't do anything stupid like have food in the tent or anything like that - I mean food other than themselves...
    They died in camp, but I don't know if they were killed in the tent while sleeping or just attacked there. I'm sure they'll provide those details tomorrow when they know more.

    And I'm equally sure they weren't killed by another human. There are no other humans. You can't get there without chartering a plane, and you can't leave either!


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