A hiker in Chugach State Park was run over by a grizzly bear Sunday morning after surprising it on the overgrown South Fork Rim Trail, a state biologist said.
Dan Goodstein, his wife, Penny, and their two dogs, Tel Vor and Shoshana, were on one of their favorite trails, just a quarter mile from their home near Prospect Heights, when they came up on the bear a little before noon.
He said he was scratched up and stepped on by the big, cinnamon-colored bruin, but not seriously hurt.
Park rangers closed the South Fork trail because of the encounter. Jessy Coltrane, Anchorage-area biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game, called it a mauling. The trail runs parallel to the powerline trail at Prospect Heights, near the south fork of Campbell Creek.
"A single brown bear was startled at close range in very thick brush," Coltrane said. "Luckily the hiker sustained only minor injuries."
The couple were less than 30 minutes from the Prospect Heights parking lot when their dogs started acting funny. Both the dogs were on leashes and wearing bear bells.
"They got a scent of something. We realized that. But with them it could be anything from a squirrel to a bear," Goodstein said.
The couple didn't see anything. Then, in a flash, they heard it.
"It was this crunching, crashing sound of something coming through the forest. And all of a sudden, it was on us," Goodstein said.
He said the bear looked him right in the eye before it knocked him down and plowed over him.
"I think it was just trying to get past me. I don't think it was trying to attack me," Goodstein said.
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