Man mauled by bear, escapes up a tree

June 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM

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.

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