BIRD RIDGE, ALASKA — A teenage youth running an annual race suffered a gruesome death at the hands of a bear that he could not outrun.
Just after noon on June 18 south of Anchorage, Patrick Cooper, 16, was participating in Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb. On the back end of the 3-mile race, Patrick was making his way down the side of a mountain trail when he was spotted by a bear. Having veered slightly off the path, Patrick soon realized he was being chased. Panicked and alone, the boy quickly texted his mother as he ran, to let her know he was in trouble. According to KTUU, Patrick’s mother and other members of his family were also running the race at the time.
Black bears can run up to 30 mph, and travelling downhill, Patrick’s tired legs did not stand a chance. The teen’s body was found a mile away from the trailhead, where he was pronounced dead.
The search for the bear is ongoing. Patrick’s death is one of two fatal bear attacks reported in Alaska since Sunday. Two contractors were ambushed by a bear at an exploration site in Fairbanks, one of whom was killed.