from the Anchorage Daily News

      Bear mauls man
Worker was on lookout

By Peter Porco Daily News Reporter

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

A 53-year-old man who had been on bear watch at a federal clean-up site on Kodiak Island over the weekend was mauled by a large grizzly, Alaska State Troopers said.

Charles Brent Hudson of Houston was in Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center on Monday recovering from a laceration to his neck, a broken rib, a crushed thumb and puncture wounds to his shoulder and buttocks, troopers said.

His condition was stable, a nursing supervisor said.

Reached at the hospital, Hudson said he had gotten pretty beat up during an attack Sunday afternoon that lasted all of 30 to 45 seconds. He declined to talk further about the incident.

Hudson, the health and safety officer for Jacob's Engineering, was working as a "bear guard" at an Army Corps of Engineers cleanup site near the east side of Lake Catherine outside the city of Kodiak, troopers said.

The location, about four miles north of the U.S. Coast Guard's Kodiak Air Station, is an old World War II site, Guard spokesman Keith Alholm said.

Besides keeping an eye out for bears, Hudson was looking for silt in the water downstream from the work site, troopers said, and carried no firearm.

Hudson was alone in a wooded area not more than half a mile from other workers on heavy equipment, said Fish and Wildlife Protection Troopers Sgt. Joanna Roop.

"He heard something come up behind him," Roop said. "He thinks the bear was bedded down in the timber and within about 20 feet of where he initially heard him, and the victim tried to run for some dense trees, and the bear came up behind him."

He said the grizzly "ran me down and bowled me over," Roop said.

Hudson curled into a ball on the ground, facedown, with his hands covering his head in the classic play-dead posture sometimes recommended by bear experts. The bear, which he described as a dark boar, rolled him over twice and then ran off, Roop said.

Hudson called for help on his radio and was eventually airlifted to the hospital in a Coast Guard helicopter.

The bear did not return to the area, Roop said. Investigators determined the bear did not stalk Hudson, nor did Hudson have any food on him, she said. The bear apparently had not been wounded in any way. So authorities did not pursue it.

Copyright © 2000 The Anchorage Daily News

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