Early Sunday morning a 14 year old girl was bike riding on a trail in a 24 hour race sponsored by the Artic Bicycle Club in Bicentennial Park in Alaska when she was attacked by the bear. The area borders a national park known for it’s grizzly, and black bears, moose, wolves and wolverines.

When attacked the girl managed to place a 911 call from her cell phone but she couldn’t speak and then her connection went dead. 911 dispatchers could hear someone struggling to breathe before the line went dead. Following the procedure in cases such as this, the emergency service called the girl back. Another biker in the race, Peter Basinger heard the phone ringing and answered it when he spotted the girl on the ground on the trail. All she could do was mutter the word “bear”.

Rick Sinnott, of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife biologist said the girl was wearing a helmet which could very well have saved her life because the bear tried biting it when he ripped it off of her head and slung it into the woods leaving teeth marks all over it. Rescuers armed with shotguns had to hike up about two miles before they could reach the girl.

There were about 60 riders signed up for the race. The path used followed a circular route along trails used by hikers, bikers and skiers. The race began at noon on Saturday and was scheduled to end at noon Sunday but it was canceled after the girl was attacked. She was attacked around 1:30 am, which is the darkest time of the morning. Riders could see enough to ride along the trails. The girl’s bike had bear bells on it and she also has a light on her bike and on her helmet.

ADN.com reports that the girl was taken to the hospital where she had to have surgery and was in critical condition. Sinnot said that emergency responder told him that the bear had bit the girl on the head, torso and thigh and she also had some sort of sucking chest wound caused by a puncture to her lung cavity.

Jan Barrett

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