Brown bear in Wrangell-St. Elias

A young brown bear visits a camp in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in July 2009. National Park Service photo

A 39-year-old hunter was injured Wednesday after he was mauled by a grizzly bear protecting her cubs in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, according to a release from the National Park Service.

Jason Long, of Eagle River, was mauled by a sow and two cubs while he was alone in an unnamed drainage area adjacent to the Chisana River, the release stated.

During the attack, Long activated a distress signal on his satellite communicator, triggering an Air National Guard rescue mission coordinated with the National Park Service.

Long was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and treated for lacerations and puncture wounds. His last known condition was stable, the release stated.

Park officials said there are no plans to locate the bear involved, given the defensive nature of the attack.

“Female bears with cubs are naturally defensive of their young, especially when surprised. There is no indication that this bear is unusually dangerous,” the release said.

Last year, a 22-year-old hunter was killed by a grizzly bear in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, marking the first fatal bear mauling since the park was established in 1980.

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