ANCHORAGE - A 15-year-old boy from Texas who was attacked by a grizzly bear along Resurrection Pass was recovering Saturday at an Anchorage hospital from bites to his legs and arms.
The attack occurred Friday while Alex Benson and his Boy Scout troop were wrapping up a 26-mile hike from Hope to Cooper Landing.
Benson apparently startled the brown bear on the trail, just half an hour from the end of the hike.
Benson was bitten at least twice before the bear ran off. The boy was left with a shredded arm and puncture wounds in his leg.
"I looked up and there was this bear and he looked at me and I said 'I'm going to die,"' Benson told KTUU-TV in Anchorage from his hospital bed.
Aaron Chapman said he rounded a corner and saw Benson standing in front of a grizzly bear just before the bear attacked.
The bear was likely scared off by one of the troop leaders who was carrying a gun and fired several shots into the air. The attack lasted less than 10 seconds, the Scouts said.
Benson told the Anchorage Daily News the bear was about twice his size.
Benson was among two dozen 13- to 16-year-old boys and their fathers who left Texas last week for the Boy Scout trip to Alaska.
Trip leader and former Alaska resident Paul Fletcher said he taught the boys and adults on bear safety. Three fathers carried handguns and four boys carried bear spray on the trek, Fletcher said.
Resurrection Pass Trail on the Kenai Peninsula is bear country. A man survived a mauling two years ago on the Russian River about five miles away.