Teen killed by black bear during trail race

A sign warns people that the trail head is closed on Monday, June 19, 2017, after a fatal bear mauling at Bird Ridge Trail in Anchorage, Alaska. Authorities say a black bear killed a 16-year-old runner while he was competing in an Alaska race on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A mountain trail race on Father’s Day ended tragically for an Alaska family when their teenage son was mauled and killed by a large black bear.

Patrick Cooper had already turned around after reaching the halfway point in the popular 1.5-mile mountain race when he somehow veered off the trail and became lost.

He got separated from the group and sent a text to a family member saying he was being chased by a bear.

It took a couple hours for responders to locate the teen, whose body was found about a mile up the path.

Race director Brad Precosky said the bear was found at the site, guarding the body. A park ranger shot the 250-pound bear in the face, but the bear ran away.

Alaska State Troopers said the boy’s remains were airlifted from the scene on Sunday.

State park staffers were scouring the area Monday looking for the bear, state Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said. Sunday’s attack was believed to have been a rare predatory move, not a defensive action such as when a female bear will protect her cubs, he said.

Read the full story on Alaska Dispatch News.

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