Bear mauls man on Kodiak Island

Posted: Monday, October 09, 2000

KODIAK (AP) -- A 53-year-old man was reported in stable condition at a hospital here after being mauled by a brown bear during the weekend.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted Charles Hutchins, of Houston, Alaska, from a construction site near Lake Catherine Sunday afternoon.

Hutchins was standing bear watch when he apparently startled one of the animals in a stand of spruce trees, authorities said. He was able to use a hand-held radio to contact other workers about the mauling.

One of the workers drove four miles to Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak to report the incident. A Coast Guard military police officer returned to the site and began searching for Hutchins, who was found about 500 yards away.

A helicopter flew Hutchins to an ambulance that took him to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center for treatment.

Hutchins suffered injuries to his neck and buttocks, the Alaska State Troopers said.

He was not carrying a weapon when he was attacked, troopers said.

Hutchins glimpsed the bear coming up behind him and fell to the ground, face down -- covering his head with his hands, troopers said.

The attack was brief and the bear ran away, troopers said.

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