Photo Courtesy of John Hyde
Click to enlarge Photo Courtesy of John Hyde

Bear Attack2 in Katmai

Since the fatal Bear attack on well known Bear Photographer Timothy Treadwell and his Girl friend Amie Huguenard   in Kaflia Bay in Katmai Park Alaska Grizzly Bears and Coastal Brown Bears have got allot of attention and a bad reputation regarding there disposition. 99% of all Bear attacks resulting in fatalities have human error involved and bad judgment as in there unfortunate case every bear expert in Alaska agrees that they were very careless and in a very bad location to be camping with no bear fence or Bear Spray. With 35,000-45,000 bears in Alaska and people encroaching on there private space it is a wonder we don't have more Bear attacks. But it is very simple Grizzly bears and brown bears live there life in solitude most of the time with one driving force on there mind survive by eating as much as they can before the fall hibernation.

Grizzly Bear Attacks

    Katmai Park has the highest densities of Brown Bears in all of Alaska with the least amount of attacks this is fact. You are 10 times likelier to be attacked off the road system near anchorage or Kenai while either biking-jogging or hunting by yourself. As i am not aware of any bear attacks on a group of 3 or more ever in the state of Alaska. 94% of the time it is a single individual either jogging-biking or hunting and they startle a bear and they are attacked.  After living and guiding in Katmai National Park  for the past 24 years of my life I have only been approached by an aggressive bear once and i acted accordingly and diffused the situation. .
While this bears coloring might fool you it is an Alaskan brown Bear
Click to enlarge While this bears coloring might fool you it is an Alaskan brown Bear

Facts on Bear Attacks in Alaska

    As a general rule bears will flee when they see humans. The best bear viewing is done in the morning and evening hours of the day but during the intense feeding periods of the summer salmon spawn they can be regularly seen during the day. As their food source becomes less concentrated their ranges increase. Finding food, finding mates, and avoiding being hunted dictate a brown bear´s life.

Bear Attacks  in 2008

    2008 was a record year for Grizzly Bear and Brown Bear attacks In Alaska with 8 maulings reported, over 80% of them had a single women involved there were no fatalities reported. And with 4 of the attacks happening inside the city limits of anchorage on biking and jogging trails by sows with cubs, 1 attack was on a deer hunter on Kodiak island dragging out a bloody deer, another attack happened in the Gates of the Arctic Park with an all lady group camping, One fisherman was attacked on the Russian river but escaped with minimal injury. And one other lady was attacked near the Kenai wilderness lodge.

The moral of the story is simple do not go Jogging-Biking  Hiking-Fishing or any outdoor activity by yourself in the woods in Alaska. Whether being a man or woman you should always travel in a group of 3 or more and make noise in restricted visibility areas and you will be 100% safe as there has never been a recorded bear attack on a group of 3 or more people together. Grizzly Bears and Brown Bears are not hateful, spiteful, or malicious animals searching out humans.

Bears are social animals and are considered not to be territorial as they share home ranges. On the other hand bears will defend their personal space and each social setting is often dictated by a social hierarchy. It must be understood that the bear is at the top of the food chain and have very few predators and fears. As many Bear viewing guides in the state know bears often don´t even look up as they walk the well worn paths of rivers and lakes. Not always being aware of their surroundings it is important that we as humans take precautions to let it be known where we are and not to surprise or get in a bears personal space. This page was not to scare anyone just give the straight facts regarding Bear attacks in Alaska . Visiting Katmai National Park is one of the safest places to visit especially since we never go with a group smaller than 3.

Sincerely Charle Summerville III

Owner/Head Guide Alaska Adventures

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 Bear Attacks are almost always avoidable and from 1900-1985 there was only 20 fatalities in Alaska by bear Attacks and from 1975-1985 there was 16 deaths by dog attacks alone, the facts are you have allot higher chance of being killed by a dog attack than a brown bear or grizzly Bear attack. Be safe and travel in groups making noise !! You won't go wrong