ORAGE, AK – Authorities in Alaska said a Hawaii woman was one of two wilderness guides who were attacked and mauled by a brown bear as they were leading cruise ship passengers on a hike in the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska. Alaska State Troopers say the attack occurred after the group came between the female bear and its cub.
According to Alaska State Troopers, the victims of Thursday’s mauling Anna Powers of Hawaii and Michael Justa of Juneau were the crew members of the 74-passenger cruise vessel Wilderness Explorer.
The Coast Guard rescued the guides and transported them to Sitka, where Justa was treated and released. Powers was then flown to Seattle where she was initially hospitalized in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center.
Tongass officials say bears are common in the area near a stream filled with salmon at this time of the year when the fish head to the area to spawn and die.