Today's Midland Reporter Telegram contains an AP article describing a bear mauling incident occurring in Alaska. (The MRT article doesn't appear to be online, but here's a link to what appears to be the same AP article in the Fairbanks Daily News.)
ANCHORAGE--A self-taught bear expert who once called Alaska's brown bears harmless was one of two people fatally mauled in a bear attack in the Katmai National Park and Preserve.
The bodies of Timothy Treadwell, 46, and Amie Huguenard, 37, both of Malibu, Calif., were found Monday at their campsite when a pilot who was supposed to take them to Kodiak arrived, state troopers said Tuesday.
Park rangers encountered a large, aggressive male brown bear within minutes of arriving. Ranger Joel Ellis said two officers stood by with shotguns as he fired 11 times with a semi-automatic handgun before the animal fell, 12 feet away.
Many hunters who knowingly go into bear country will carry a powerful handgun as protection of last resort. So, the fact that the ranger killed the bear with a handgun is significant news. None of the articles say what caliber the handgun was, so I telephoned the National Park Service at the Katmai National Park and Preserve and was told that it was .40 caliber. The ranger I spoke with presumed that it was a Glock as that is the brand most commonly carried by the rangers there.
Supplemental info: Here's what the late Timothy Treadwell said in an interview on March 21, 1999.
"I'm much more likely to be killed by an angry sport hunter than a bear," he said decisively. "I'm in more danger here in San Francisco."
And, here's the late Timothy Treadwell's' website Grizzlepeople.com where he gives this advice:
People should stay 100 yards away from bears at all times.
A fed bear is a dead bear.
Once a bear gets human food, it becomes dangerous to humans.
Never run from a bear.
When camping in bear country, people should use bear proof barrels and boxes, or hang food safely out of reach of bears.