A hunter was killed by a grizzly bear in a remote area of Wrangell-St, Alaska. Elias National Reserve and Preserve was identified by park officials as a 22-year-old man from Ohio.
The park said in a statement that the death of Austin Pfeiffer was the first fatal attack recorded in the park since its inception in 1980. Park spokesman Jan Maslin said in an email that officials had not released his hometown at the family’s request.
The statement said that Pfeiffer was chasing with a friend and that they were removing meat from the moose who had killed him the day before when the attack occurred.
National Park Service investigators determined that it was a surprise attack and that Pfeiffer did not have ready access to a handgun or deterrent, such as a bear repellant spray, at the time.
The statement said Pfeiffer’s fishing partner was later safely evacuated from the site. No other visitor has been known to exist in this area, which is more than 20,300 square miles (52,600 square kilometers) larger than New Hampshire and Vermont combined.
The statement said Rangers would continue to monitor the area for bear activity.
The park said it provides hunting opportunities in its protected lands.