TOP SECRET ANIMAL ATTACK FILES
Special Report forwarded by AAF Correspondent: Jeff Dykes
from The New York Times
Great Books about ANIMAL ATTACKS:
|Bear Kills, Eats
Man in Alaska
Monday, July 17, 2000
By The Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- In a rare predatory attack, a brown bear killed and partially ate a man at a campground a few miles from a bear-viewing site in far southeast Alaska.
The body of George Tullos, 41, was found Saturday at the Run Amuck campground near Hyder, a small community on the Canadian border about 75 miles northeast of Ketchikan. The attack apparently happened sometime late Friday.
``It was not a matter of slapping him around. The bear ate on him,'' state trooper Sgt. Steve Garrett said Monday.
After the bear was shot and killed, biologists found the victim's flesh in its stomach, said Bruce Dinneford, regional management coordinator for the state Division of Wildlife Conservation.
The U.S. Forest Service maintains a bear-viewing site near Hyder, but the campground is more than three miles away from the tourist attraction, said Paul Larkin, who operates the viewing area.
The 300-pound male bear showed up about 10 days ago and quickly became a problem for a town of 140 accustomed to bears, rummaging through garbage and scrounging for food.
``This was a bear who was an opportunist, taking advantage of what he could find,'' Larkin said. ``We don't see many bears like this, thank goodness.''
The night before the attack, Larkin and others tried to trap the bear so it could be moved out of town, but were thwarted by a faulty trigger mechanism in the trap.
Tullos, who was in Hyder for the summer to work at a restaurant, had apparently gone to the secluded area of the campground to sleep, Larkin said.
After his body was found Saturday, workers at a nearby sawmill spotted the bear at the dump. Workers shot the animal.
Predatory bear attacks are very rare because bears perceive humans as a threat rather than prey, said Bruce Bartley, a spokesman for the state wildlife division.
Bartley could recall only three reported cases of bears attacking people and eating them in the past 20 years.
The Hyder attack was the first one his agency has heard about in Alaska this year, Bartley said.
Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company