Anchorage girl seriously hurt in bear attack on park path

A teenage girl riding in an all-night bicycle race suffered severe injuries early Sunday when a bear attacked her on a trail in Far North Bicentennial Park, authorities said.

Police officers with shotguns escorted medics into dark woods to retrieve the girl, who underwent surgery at Providence Alaska Medical Center. "She was cut up and bit pretty good," said Anchorage Police Officer Jean Mills.

Rick Sinnott, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game, went to the scene and said it could have been the same momma grizzly that charged two runners about two weeks ago on a nearby Hillside Park trail. Police were called at 1:35 a.m. after another bicyclist found the mauled girl down and dazed on the ground. During the summer in Alaska it is still daylight at such hours.

She was among about 60 participants in a 24-hour race sponsored by the Arctic Bicycle Club. The team event began at noon Saturday and was to end at noon Sunday. Organizers canceled it after the attack and were trying to account for all the other riders.

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