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Teen texts family: I’m being chased by a bear

A black bear walks on a grassy hillside along a main thoroughfare in Juneau, Alaska, in May. Authorities say a black bear killed a teen competing in a race Sunday near Anchorage.
A black bear walks on a grassy hillside along a main thoroughfare in Juneau, Alaska, in May. Authorities say a black bear killed a teen competing in a race Sunday near Anchorage. The Associated Press

A black bear fatally mauled a 16-year-old boy competing Sunday in an Alaska race.

The boy had texted a family member waiting at the finish line that he was being chased by a bear, reports the Alaska Dispatch News. His body was found after a search. A ranger shot the 250 lb. bear in the face, but it ran away. Rangers were still searching for the animal Sunday night.

The attack took place during the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb Race between Anchorage and Girdwood, reports the paper. The boy, whose identity has not been released, was competing in the juniors division.

Race director Brad Precosky said the boy had reached the halfway point turnaround on Bird Ridge Trail and was on his way down when he texted a family member that he was being chased by a bear.

“This is the worst thing that could happen,” Percosky told the newspaper. He said the death had stunned Alaska’s tightly knit running community.

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