Michigan Man Mauled By Bear in Alaska Wilderness

Michigan man suffers “serious puncture wounds” after being attacked by grizzly bear protecting her cubs in Alaska – CBS News

A grizzly bear mauled a Michigan man on Tuesday, September 6. It happened in Alaska near the East Fork Indian River. 

The bear mauled thirty-three-year-old Nicholas Kuperus during a hunting trip. According to Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Kuperus surprised a mother grizzly bear with her three bear cubs nearby. The bear felt threatened and attacked. 

The bear left severe puncture wounds on Kuperus’s arms. Kuperus used bear spray to deter the mother bear from further damage. 

The Alaska Wildlife Troopers received the report via satellite communication. Kuperus was rescued by a medical helicopter and brought back to an ambulance in Glennallen, AK, about 180 miles northeast of Anchorage. He was then transported to a hospital and treated for his wounds. 

Bear attacks are rare. But if you see a bear, there are some precautions. According to the National Park Service, you should keep your distance and avoid surprising bears, as most bears will avoid humans if they can.

The National Park Service bear encounter tips are: 

  1. Identify yourself by talking calmly. Remain still and slowly wave your arms while standing your ground. 
  2. Stay calm. Remember, most bears are curious and do not want to attack you. They want to be left alone.
  3. Pick up small children immediately.
  4. Hike in groups. Groups are louder and will often be heard by a bear than by a single person.
  5. Make yourself as large as possible. Move to higher ground if you can.
  6. Do not give the bear food. This will only encourage the bear and make things worse.
  7. Do not run. If the bear follows you, make sure to stand your ground.
  8. Do not climb a tree. 
  9. Leave the area or take a detour. Always leave the bear an escape route.
  10. Be overly cautious if you see a mamma bear with cubs.      

If a bear does attack you, it is essential to know what type of bear it is. If a grizzly bear attacks you, you want to play dead while protecting your neck. If the bear is persistent and will not leave you alone, this is when you need to fight back. If a black bear attacks you, you must first try and escape. If that is not possible, you must fight back. Do not play dead with a black bear.

For more coverage on this story, see the additional news sources below:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/09/08/grizzly-bear-attacks-michigan-man-hunting-alaska/8020525001/ USA Today

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/surprised-mama-bear-cubs-mauls-180827486.html Yahoo News

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/grizzly-bear-attack-nicholas-kuperus-injured-alaska/ CBS News

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2022/09/08/michigan-man-mauled-grizzly-bear-alaska/8023021001/ The Detroit News