Breaking news, KTUU has the story. Mama bear attacks a group of out-of-state teens involved in a survival skills and leadership program. That's one way to practice those newly-learned survival skills.
In all seriousness, it sounds like those kids did everything right in the aftermath of the attack. Good for them, and hopefully all of them will recover from the injuries.
ETA: A lot of people at the ADN and at some blogs are commenting that this group was foolish to go out into the woods without a gun. What they are forgetting is that these were teens and all from out of state. While Alaska state law is fine with kids being trained with guns, how well trained do you think that sixteen year old from CT is in firearms handling? I don't know about you, but I don't want some kids who've never held a gun before packing grizz medicine!
The group had bear spray, they were making noise as instructed. The attack seemed to come too swiftly for them to use the bearspray, much less a gun. It does happen sometimes. In the history of this organization it is only the second bear attack and the first grizzly attack. This particular class has been happening for 40 years in Alaska. Sometimes shit happens.
Bottom line: neither bear spray or guns are magic talismans against bear attacks (or people attacks for that matter). You have to be trained in how to use them, mentally capable of using them, and have the time to use them.
I don't know what sort of training they had with the bear mace so I cannot comment on that aspect. I will say that they should have EACH had a bear spray.
Another Update: From the new story up on ADN, some of the teens apparently ran when the bear attacked. That seems to have been their only mistake though. Sometimes smart people forget the right thing to do, especially when a great big bear is trying to nom your face.
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