Saturday, 23 June 2012

Alaska bear mauling victim pleads for help, ambulance in recorded 911 calls

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 30-year-old Alaska man mauled by a bear pleads for help in a recorded 911 call, telling the dispatcher he’s up a tree and can hear the animal huffing below him.

In the recording released by Alaska State Troopers, Ben Radakovich tells the dispatcher to send an ambulance, saying he is “bleeding bad.” At one point the two are disconnected and Radakovich calls back.

Radakovich climbed 30 feet up the tree after he was mauled Sunday morning by a female brown bear with a cub on the Penguin Creek Trail south of Anchorage.

“The damn thing was batting at me,” Radakovich tells the dispatcher.

It took rescuers almost two hours to reach him. Troopers say a helicopter was unable to land nearby, so rescuers used an all-terrain vehicle to carry Radakovich on a wheeled stretcher to transport him to the chopper one and a half miles away.

He was flown to an Anchorage hospital, and was released Monday morning, according to Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

Radakovich, who lives in the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River north of town, did not respond to phone messages left at a number listed under his name. He told ABC’s Good Morning America: “I’m just grateful that I got through it and that I’m here to enjoy another day basically.”

Several bear and moose attacks in recent weeks have raised concerns in the area; no one has died, but some of the animals have been killed.

Many calls are from people reporting bears raiding outdoor trash cans or crossing streets. Others are from people charged by moose with young offspring born in the spring calving season.


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