Bear mauls jogger

Man survives attack near Mackey Lake

Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A 51-year-old man who was jogging near Mackey Lakes was mauled by a brown bear Monday morning, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Scott MacInnes was being treated at Central Peninsula General Hospital on Monday afternoon for injuries to his head and abdomen. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, according to troopers.

MacInnes had been jogging with his dog along Derks Lake Road about 1 1/2 miles from his home on Denise Lake Road when the attack occurred.

MacInnes made his way back to a neighbor's house where he and the neighbor called 911 and Central Emergency Services sent an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement trooper Dan Dahl res-ponded to the scene and said it appeared as if MacInnes' dog, a golden retriever, had wandered away from MacInnes and came upon a moose carcass the bear had been feeding on about 50 yards from the road.

As MacInnes rounded a corner, the bear charged him.

MacInnes tried to shelter himself behind a tree, but the bear clawed him on the head and stomach before retreating.

"There was quite a bit of blood at the scene," Dahl said.

"The nearest residence to where the attack occurred was about a mile away, but no one was there when (MacInnes) got there.

"There was a lot of blood on the porch.

"He had to go another half mile before he found someone who could help," Dahl said.

MacInnes' dog, which was not injured, stayed with him the entire time, according to Dahl.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game area wildlife biologist for the Kenai Peninsula Jeff Selinger and Larry Lewis, wildlife technician, went to the scene following the attack to see if they could piece together what happened and determine if any action would be taken against the bear.

"All indications are this bear behaved like a bear guarding a kill," Selinger said.

"As far as I could tell from the tracks, the dog made a couple runs in that direction (of the kill), but not all the way to the kill," he said.

Selinger said the moose was a winter starvation moose, and not one killed by the bear.

He said paw prints in fresh snow indicated at least one other bear — an offspring of the attacking bear — also was feeding on the moose carcass.

"It looked like the bear came onto the road, saw the jogger and the dog, and maybe intended to guard the kill or just move off," Selinger said.

He said he could not find any indications that the bear charged from any distance.

"Usually if a bear comes on a charge, it's kicking up some dirt. I didn't see any of that," he said.

Selinger said Fish and Game has no plans of hunting down the bear.

"We've posted a sign on a gate that's out there warning people that (the bear attack) happened, and we'll warn people of the location of the moose carcass," he said.

In examining bear stool in the area, Selinger said it contained a large amount of grain, mostly oats, and some almonds.

"It's good to tell people it's time to secure that stuff away," he said.

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