Alaska teacher mauled by bear during mountaineering class

An assistant college professor was mauled by a bear while teaching a mountaineering course in the Alaska Panhandle Monday, a university spokeswoman said.

Forest Wagner, 35, of Fairbanks, was with a group of 12 University of Alaska Southeast students on Mount Emmerich near Haines when he was attacked. A student hiked down the mountain to get cell reception and call for help.

Wagner was in stable condition at an Anchorage hospital, according to a university statement sent to KTUU. None of the students were harmed. 

According to a police report, Wagner was removed from the mountain via helicopter and put on another LifeMed helicopter before being taken him to the hospital.

According to Wagner’s teaching schedule, he was part of a Mountaineering 101 class that was scheduled to come down off of the mountain by Tuesday. He has been coordinating and teaching in the outdoor studies program at the university since 2006, according to his biography. He teaches rock and ice climbing, backcountry navigation, glacier travel and mountaineering.

The bear was sighted again after the mauling and Bausler said the 12 students in the mountaineering class were taken down from the mountain and are spending the night in Haines with another professor. They are scheduled to take the ferry back to Juneau on Tuesday, she said.

It’s the second mauling reported in Alaska within days.

A 77-year-old bear hunter is recovering from injuries suffered when he was mauled by a grizzly in interior Alaska.

Troopers on Monday said hunter Glenn Bohn of Wasilla was attacked by the bear near Mile 68 of the Denali Highway just after 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

The 135-mile road runs east to west and connects the Richardson and Parks highways east of Denali National Park.

Bohn’s hunting partner killed the bear. Bohn was driven by snowmobile to the Denali Highway where a LifeMed Alaska helicopter flew him to an Anchorage hospital.

Wildlife troopers, employees of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and friends of Bohn removed the bear from the field Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

comments powered by Disqus