Two people were killed in recent black bear attacks in Alaska. Patrick Cooper was participating in a mountain race. He reached the halfway mark before he got lost in the wilderness. That was when the Black Bear found an opportunity to attack and took the life of the 16-year-old.

Although incidents like these are considered rare, Cooper's death is the second fatality last week. According to a police report, before Cooper's tragic death he managed to call his brother informing him of the imminent danger he was facing. He told his brother that he was being chased by the animal. Cooper was participating in the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race last Sunday, June 18 when the incident occurred.

Black bear's predatory attack

Authorities were immediately alerted after Cooper's frantic phone call. Race director Brad Precosky launched a search for the lost runner. However, despite rigorous efforts by the organizers, the responders failed to locate and rescue the runner from the raging animal.

His body was found lifeless about a mile from the path. Based on the report, the black bear remained at the scene and was guarding the teen's body when authorities found them.

Because of the fatal outcome, a Chugach State Park ranger had no choice but to shoot the huge bear which weighs in at around 250 pounds (113-kilogram). The bear was shot in the face but despite obtaining a serious injury, the animal fled the scene.

Fox News reported that after the attempt to capture the animal, Cooper was airlifted from the scene.

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Meanwhile, park rangers and local authorities are still searching for the rogue black bear to avoid further casualties.

Authorities say that this incident is a rare predatory attack and not a defense mechanism. Female bears usually engage in defensive actions when they feel that their cubs are threatened. But predatory engagements are rarely seen with either male or female bears.

Bear incident near Anchorage

Monday, June 19, there was another mauling reported 300 miles from Anchorage. Employees were inside Pogo Mine, an underground gold mine when a bear attacked. One of the employees, an expert tasked to take geological samples from the location, was reportedly killed by the animal.

The most recent attack also left another employee injured. However, no names were divulged by authorities regarding this black bear attack.

Investigation into the bear to continue

The divisional operations manager for Alaska State Parks, Matt Wedeking said the behavior of the black bear was alarmingly and is not normal. People are asking whether there are new cubs in the area that could have caused the rare predatory behavior of the animal, but Wedeking said they don't know for sure. However, he promised to continue with their investigations.