9-year-old attacked by brown bear in Alaska recovering at Harborview

Alaska, U.S.— A 9-year old boy mauled by a grizzly bear in Alaska is being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

A spokesperson with the hospital says the boy underwent a procedure Wednesday and says he is stable.

Alaska State Troopers say on Tuesday the boy and a 41-year-old man were hunting in the Palmer Hay Flats area when they encountered the grizzly bear.

The bear mauled the boy, leaving him with serious injuries, the man suffered minor injuries. Officials say he shot and killed the animal.

A witness at the scene reported seeing a man carrying away a child with head lacerations.

“We came and investigated the area. We located a brown bear that had mauled possibly the two people, the bear is now possibly deseeded and we will be with Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska wildlife troopers tomorrow to finish the investigation,” said Trooper Scott Lanier of Alaska Wildlife.

A spokesperson with Washington’s Ecology office says people are more likely to see black bears than grizzly bears almost everywhere you go in the lower 48 states and in Canada.

Biologists estimate that approximately 20,000 black bears currently reside in Washington state. Knowing the difference between the two species can be beneficial — a grizzly bear has longer claws, short rounded ears and shoulder hump.

If you cross paths with a bear, Washington Fish and Wildlife officials recommend you don’t run away, saying you cannot outrun a bear, and running may trigger a bear to chase.