Site of deadly bear mauling remains closed in Alaska's Denali National Park

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,995 Senior Member
Dang if I would stick around take pics of a Grizzly for 8 minutes.

"ANCHORAGE, Alaska – About 200 square miles of Alaska backcountry terrain where a California hiker was mauled to death by a grizzly bear remained closed Sunday as investigators continued to piece together what happened.

Weather permitting, rangers at Denali National Park were planning to recreate the steps taken by 49-year-old Richard White, of San Diego, before he was attacked Friday afternoon near the Toklat River, park officials said. Before the attack, White photographed the male bear for at least eight minutes from a distance of 50 to 100 yards.

The weather was poor Sunday, with low clouds and rain contributing to low visibility. Park spokeswoman Kris Fister said that when the weather allows visibility, park pilots will fly over the area to look for other backpackers believed to still be in the general vicinity or heading in that direction. Fister said rangers might also go on foot to alert -- not evacuate -- the party believed to still be there.

The photographs in the recovered camera show the bear grazing and not acting aggressively. Spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin said the bear did not even appear aware of the hiker until the final photos, which show the animal looking toward the camera.

A few hours after the attack Friday, hikers stumbled upon White's backpack roughly 150 yards from his remains, McLaughlin said. The hikers also spotted blood and torn clothing, and immediately hiked back and alerted staff park.

Rangers in a helicopter spotted a large male grizzly bear sitting on the hiker's remains, which they called a "food cache" in the underbrush.

A state trooper fatally shot the bear Saturday. The bear's stomach contents were examined and found to contain remains and clothing that confirmed it was the animal that killed White, Fister said Sunday.

White's remains were recovered Saturday evening and were sent to the state medical examiner's office in Anchorage.

There's no indication that the man's death was the result of anything other than a bear attack, according to investigators. The attack is the first known fatal mauling in the park's nearly century-long history.

White had been in the Denali backcountry for three nights under a five-night permit and may have recently hiked in other areas of Alaska, park officials said. It was unknown if he had previous backcountry experience in Denali, but he indicated he had multiple years of backpacking experience, Fister said.

UT San Diego reported Sunday that White was the director of exploratory pharmacology at Ferring Pharmaceuticals until last year and was switching to a new job, according to the hiker's father, Byron White. The father, who could not be reached by The Associated Press, said his son liked hiking alone in remote places and enjoyed the wilderness. Byron White said his son had been to Denali at least once before."

Read more:
It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!


  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,664 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Dang if I would stick around take pics of a Grizzly for 8 minutes.

    But it's so pretty.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,099 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Dang if I would stick around take pics of a Grizzly for 8 minutes.

    Nobody likes the Paparazzi. . .

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,139 Senior Member
    I see half-brained tourists get within chomping range of alligators all the time. I just shake my head, ask them if they planned to die a brutal death in Florida and let them go about their insanity.

    I grew up around gators, I am comfortable near them and I know when close is too close. But some shutterbugs just don't get it. I imagine its no different with bears, but they will chase you wayyyyy longer.

    If you get mauled by a bear from an ambush, that is the bears doing. If you get mauled because you wanted a closer picture of those cute little cubs, that is the tourist's doing. Death by stupidity. Cheers, Mr. Darwin.

    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.