Seven teenagers involved in a dangerous bear attack last summer fled from the animal and didn’t have easy access to bear spray, according to a National Outdoor Leadership School report that details what happened before, during and after the attack.
All seven students were participating in a 30 day wilderness survival course run by NOLS.
Two of the teens were badly injured and two others had minor injuries.
The report says the group was walking in a line along a river and that when the first teen saw the bear he turned his back on the animal and yelled, ‘bear.’
Seconds after that the brown bear attacked and the other teens fled.
“Others responded to the situation out of surprise and fear, but this response to the bear may have exacerbated the situation.” The report said.
NOLS officials said they will start doing drills with their students to stand their ground, speak calmly and avoid running away.
They will also require all students who are participating in NOLS in Alaska to carry bear spray in an easily accessible holster on their chest or hip.
“While we taught the students we wanted the bear spray to be accessible it probably wasn’t as accessible as we would have hoped for,” Bruce Palmer, a member of NOLS said.
Contact, Rebecca Palsha