UPDATE: Bear Mauling In Black Spruce Thicket Between Pipeline & The Gulkana Airport Is A Story Nobody Can Forget

National News Reports Gulkana Airport Bear Mauling  When Allen Minish survived being bit in the head just north of the Hub Junction, across ...

National News Reports Gulkana Airport Bear Mauling 

When Allen Minish survived being bit in the head just north of the Hub Junction, across from Gulkana Airport, the U.S. news media was on the story like a shot. 

Allen Minish lives in Chitina. And as a Copper Valley person, he is probably more forthright about things than most Americans. He was willing to talk to people from his hospital bed. In spite of hiding behind a tiny black spruce, and poking at the bear with his surveying pole, he was struck down. Then the bear clamped its jaws around his head, and crushed his cheek, he told the Anchorage Daily News

Bleeding all over his eyes, he called 911, and then waited an hour for help as he wrapped his wounds with his T-shirt. He was a quarter of a mile into the woods, and had to be walked out. 

The story was a hit. And the photo of the wounds on his skull that Minish donated to illustrate it were inscrutable, gory – and truly alarming. 

The incident was picked up by CNN, CBS News, the Los Angeles Daily News, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Orange County Register, the Bangor Daily News, NBC, the New York Post and numerous other news outlets.

One aspect of the tale that local people understand and outsiders don't is that the area in which the mauling happened is about as close to "civilization" as you can be in the Copper Valley. 

1975: Grizzly At Little Tonsina Creek

The incident was similar to one that occurred in 1975 at Little Tonsina Creek Campground, almost directly across from Alyeska Pump Station #12, which was in the process of being constructed. 

An unassuming young man was headed to the creek for some grayling fishing in early June. He was stunned when a female grizzly burst from the willows and rushed past him. Moments later, as he stood still in shock, a large male grizzly, in hot pursuit, ran over him, knocking him over and took a bite out of his scalp as he passed. The man was also medevaced to Anchorage. 

He lived for several days, but the deep bites led to a fatal infection. 


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