Man used phone to call 911 after bear attack in Alaska

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ANCHORAGE, AK -- A 62-year-old man who was mauled by a bear called 911 to report the attack himself, authorities said Monday.

Danny High, of Funny River, Alaska, was in serious condition in intensive care Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said High's family doesn't want details released about his injuries, but she added the injuries require surgery.

High didn't have a gun or bear spray when he was attacked Sunday during a walk in the woods, according to Alaska State Troopers. A state Department Of Fish and Game official said High had been walking a neighbor's dog as was his practice.

After the attack, High notified authorities himself, according to Central Emergency Services Capt. Terry Bookey.

"He called 911 to report that he'd been injured in a bear mauling," Bookey said.

Troopers described High's injuries as major when he was flown from the scene to Anchorage. Troopers were unable to find the bear.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms said High was accustomed to walking a neighbor's dog through the area, which has a series of four-wheeler trails where bears have been seen many times. At one point, the neighbor saw the dog, but not High and became concerned, Harms said.

A Fish and Game biologist was among officials who inspected the vicinity on Monday, according to Harms. The biologist was unable to definitively identify the area where the attack occurred, she said.

"They were not able to find a place where they can identify it happened here," she said.

Agency officials also are trying to confirm if the attack came from a brown bear or a black bear, but are going on the assumption that it was a brown bear, she said.

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