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Grizzly Mauls Boy in Alaska
AP ^ | July 24, 2005

Posted on 07/25/2005 9:27:30 PM PDT by nuconvert

Grizzly mauls boy in Alaska

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Associated Press

Anchorage, Alaska — A 15-year-old boy from Texas who was attacked by a grizzly bear was recovering at an Anchorage hospital from bites to his legs and arms.

The attack occurred Friday while Alex Benson and his Boy Scout troop were wrapping up a 42-kilometre hike.

Alex apparently startled the bear on the trail, just half an hour from the end of the hike.

He was bitten at least twice before the bear ran off. The boy was left with a shredded arm and puncture wounds in his leg.

Advertisements “I looked up and there was this bear and he looked at me and I said ‘I'm going to die,'” Alex told KTUU-TV in Anchorage from his hospital bed.

Aaron Chapman said he rounded a corner and saw Alex standing in front of a grizzly bear just before the bear attacked.

The bear was likely scared off by one of the troop leaders who was carrying a gun and fired several shots into the air. The attack lasted less than 10 seconds, the Scouts said.

Paul Fletcher, the trip leader and former Alaska resident, said he taught the boys and adults on bear safety. Three fathers carried handguns and four boys carried bear spray on the trek, Fletcher said.

Officials do not plan to hunt down the animal because its behaviour was consistent with a surprised bear.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alaska; bear; boyscout; boyscouts; bsa; bsalist; grizzly; scout

1 posted on 07/25/2005 9:27:30 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: Squantos

*Ping*


2 posted on 07/25/2005 9:29:53 PM PDT by PoorMuttly (just saying "Sorry" in advance)
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To: nuconvert
How dare he disturb that bear in it's natural habitat!

Call 1-800 GREENPEACE right now.
3 posted on 07/25/2005 9:32:48 PM PDT by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: nuconvert

Right after graduating, a law school classmate of mine was eaten by a grizzly while camping in Alaska. The grizzly just cut into his tent and consumed him.


4 posted on 07/25/2005 9:50:02 PM PDT by Torie
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To: nuconvert

They need to build bridges over the trails so the animals don't intermingle with the hikers. (sarcasm)


5 posted on 07/25/2005 9:50:07 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: nuconvert
The bear was likely scared off by one of the troop leaders who was carrying a gun and fired several shots into the air.

Why did he shoot into the air when the poor kid was being attacked?

Hmmmm... well I guess you had to be there.

6 posted on 07/25/2005 9:59:46 PM PDT by angkor
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To: SandRat

Wow BSA is having a tough week.


7 posted on 07/25/2005 10:10:11 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (Freedom isn't free)
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To: nuconvert

Paul Fletcher, the trip leader and former Alaska resident, said he taught the boys and adults on bear safety. >>

An experienced hiker once told me that when hiking in Alaska in Grizzly territory, one must hike with a cow bell or other noise making device while you walk. This should scare away the bear before he sees you.


8 posted on 07/25/2005 10:13:08 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: angkor
Why did he shoot into the air when the poor kid was being attacked?

It may not have been possible to be certain of hitting the bear and not the boy.

This things do not play out in slow motion with the bear standing over the boy like in a painting. There is a fast moving tangle of bear & boy.

9 posted on 07/25/2005 10:14:53 PM PDT by CurlyDave
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To: notpoliticallycorewrecked

Alaska Councils in particular.


10 posted on 07/25/2005 10:15:29 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Coleus

Carry a 12 ga shotgun, works MUCH better than a bell.

That said, thank goodness one the leaders had enough smarts to carry a weapon!


11 posted on 07/25/2005 10:39:23 PM PDT by ASOC (Insert clever tagline here: _______)
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To: SandRat
Anchorage in particular.
12 posted on 07/25/2005 10:40:06 PM PDT by ASOC (Insert clever tagline here: _______)
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To: ASOC
Carry a 12 ga shotgun, works MUCH better than a bell. >>]

it sure does but if they were making noise this whole incident may have been prevented.
13 posted on 07/25/2005 10:44:38 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: nuconvert

When are they going to hunt down and shoot these damn children who startle the poor grizzly, causing the angelic bear to engage in his natural behavior of attacking anything that dares startle him? Sarcasm off.


14 posted on 07/25/2005 10:56:51 PM PDT by Williams
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To: CurlyDave
This things do not play out in slow motion

Yes, I've seen HUGE grizzles on the move in Denali NP.

Slow mo, not.

15 posted on 07/26/2005 12:25:48 AM PDT by angkor
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To: ASOC; Coleus
Carry a 12 ga shotgun, works MUCH better than a bell.

I don't know, I'd settle for this:

Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan models feature 2 1/2" frame-integral barrels and are available in .454 Casull and .45 Colt or .480 Ruger - the most compact revolvers available in these calibers.

16 posted on 07/26/2005 12:31:54 AM PDT by angkor
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To: nuconvert

Alex Benson, 15, was recovering at Providence Alaska Medical on Friday after undergoing surgery.

Alex Benson is given water by tour leader Paul Fletcher as he recovers in his room at Providence Alaska Medical Center on Friday evening. Benson was among a group of Boy Scouts from Texas brought to Alaska for a 50-mile hiking trip on Resurrection Pass Trail.

17 posted on 07/26/2005 12:39:43 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: nuconvert

Alex Benson, who was on a six-day hike with his home state Scout troop, was working on his 50-mile badge hiking the Resurrection Pass Trail from Hope to Cooper Landing. Just half an hour from the end of the hike, he startled the brown bear on the trail and was bitten at least twice before the bear ran off. The boy was left with a shredded arm and puncture wounds in his leg.

Benson, interviewed at his hospital bed, described the bear, which also swatted at the teenager while he was on the ground, as twice his size.

Benson was among two dozen 13- to 16-year-old boys and their fathers who left Texas last week for the Boy Scout trip to Alaska. Trip leader and former Alaska resident Paul Fletcher planned the hike for Troop 262 of Plano, Texas, near Dallas. He schooled the boys and adults on bear safety, and three fathers carried handguns and four boys carried bear spray on the trek.

snip

Despite their bear-awareness training, which emphasized that the hikers make noise, Mikey McFatter, 13, said the group was silent. The four were spaced around seven paces behind each other. McFatter, in a telephone interview, said he couldn't hear his father behind him or his friend in front of him.

Then Benson turned a corner and nearly fell on top of the bear. "I think I caught it going to the bathroom," Benson said.

He doesn't remember what the bear bit first -- his leg or his arm. But he remembers its head right next to his, its teeth in him, and it thrashing. He remembers being on his stomach, with his backpack taking the brunt of the attack.

McFatter saw the bear leap onto his friend's backpack and rip the sleeping bag. Benson screamed for help and put his hands and legs up to shield himself.

McFatter and Aaron Chapman, 15, screamed, "Bear!" and Mike McFatter, Mikey's father, fired into the air with his .45-caliber handgun.

Whether spooked by the boy's screaming, the gunshot or its own instincts to get out of there, the bear quickly retreated down the trail. McFatter shot a second and third round into the air. The attack, the Scouts said, lasted less than 10 seconds.

Benson was on the ground when Mike McFatter got to him. He was ashen, shaking and crying. Benson's sleeping bag was shredded, cords were ripped. Fletcher, who arrived at the attack site later, said, "His arm was like a hunk of meat."

But, Chapman said, his tears were also of joy. "He was so happy to still be alive. He was really happy."

snip

Troopers believe the bear was an adult.

"The bear attacked quickly," troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said. Its behavior, he said, was consistent with a surprised bear. "It was doing what bears are supposed to do. There is no reason to kill it," he said, in explaining the decision to not go after the bear.

Fletcher said Benson is expected to be out of the hospital by early next week.

When back in Texas, Fletcher said, "this boy's going to have bragging rights at school."


http://tinyurl.com/7m6s3


18 posted on 07/26/2005 12:42:43 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: nuconvert
Bears are our friends.(sarcasm)

Actually I have stopped taking walks around our property because of the Black Bear problem here.

19 posted on 07/26/2005 12:46:26 AM PDT by Dustbunny (The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist)
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To: nuconvert

This poor kid's gonna have nightmares for a loooong while.

I'm glad he's alive.


20 posted on 07/26/2005 12:51:10 AM PDT by RandallFlagg (Roll your own cigarettes! You'll save $$$ and smoke less!(Magnetic bumper stickers-click my name)
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To: kcvl; SunkenCiv; catpuppy; Lakeshark; Cuttnhorse
Happy to still be alive........... understandable!

I guess he knows the answer to age-old question: Do bears sh!t in the woods?

Then Benson turned a corner and nearly fell on top of the bear. "I think I caught it going to the bathroom," Benson said.

Do not hike in the bears' bathrooms!

21 posted on 07/26/2005 12:56:51 AM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: Coleus

We're told by some to carry pepper spray and a "bear bell".

It has also been observed that black bear "scat" usually consists of various small rodents, carrion and vegetable matter.

Grizzly bear "scat", on the other hand, seems to contain a disproportionate share of "bear bells", and smells of pepper spray.

If you're going into grizzly country, be FAR BETTER "prepared" than these unfortunate Boy Scouts were.

12 gauge slugs are my preferred defensive mechanism.


22 posted on 07/26/2005 2:06:20 AM PDT by Don W (Let's make it as difficult for the lazy here, as it is for the industrious elsewhere.)
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To: ValerieUSA
Do not hike in the bears' bathrooms!

Bears like the nice level trails for that purpose.
I hiked the Appalachian Trail one summer and bear scat was very common on the trail.

23 posted on 07/26/2005 3:12:40 AM PDT by Vinnie
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To: Coleus

We need more cowbell!


24 posted on 07/26/2005 3:18:43 AM PDT by Trust but Verify
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To: Don W

A 12 guage will just piss them off. Nothing like a Desert Eagle. Ahh..at least the USA still makes guns..


25 posted on 07/26/2005 3:22:38 AM PDT by Skeeve14 (1980's RR-Communism Evil Empire 2000's GWB-Communism good for Business)
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To: Torie
"Right after graduating, a law school classmate of mine was eaten by a grizzly while camping in Alaska"

Tough way to learn about Tort law.

26 posted on 07/26/2005 3:53:22 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Torie
"Right after graduating, a law school classmate of mine was eaten by a grizzly while camping in Alaska. The grizzly just cut into his tent and consumed him."

OMG how horrible was this at night?

27 posted on 07/26/2005 3:56:25 AM PDT by Kelly_2000 (Because they stand on a wall and say nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch)
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To: ValerieUSA

s/b, "Do not hike in the bears' bathrooms unless wearing Depends, and a suit of armor." ;')


28 posted on 07/26/2005 6:37:09 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: ValerieUSA; catpuppy
Crusher's cousin just wanted some privacy......

:-O

29 posted on 07/26/2005 7:04:48 AM PDT by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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