ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 11 (UPI) -- An Alaskan hiker was mauled by a mother bear near Anchorage but avoided life-threatening injuries by climbing a tree, an Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman said.
Ben Radakovich, 30, was hiking the Bird Creek Trail south of the city early Sunday when he encountered a bear cub, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
"[The encounter] scared the cub and the cub turned around and high-tailed it out of there," said Beth Ipsen of the troopers.
Then, the cub's mother appeared and attacked Radakovich, Ipsen said.
Radakovich was carrying a backpack, which provided some protection, and ski poles, which he used to fend off the bear, Ipsen said.
During a lull in the attack, Radakovich managed to get away and climb 30 feet up a nearby tree. From there, he called 911 on his cellphone at 7:42 a.m.
Rescuers reached him just after 9:20 a.m.
Radakovich suffered a large wound on his lower back and many puncture wounds as well as scrapes and bruises to his head, neck and back, Ipsen said.
The hiker was treated at a hospital and released.