Officials in Alaska said an Army soldier was seriously injured Saturday when a bear he shot at Carter Lake fell off a ridge and came tumbling down on him.
The Department of Public Safety said in a daily dispatch that William McCormick, 28, was airlifted to an Anchorage hospital with life-threatening injuries after the bear and a rock that became dislodged fell on him. The agency said his 19-year-old hunting partner was unharmed.
Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain told KTVA that Saturday’s incident involved a 200-pound black bear that died in the process. Officials said the pair used an InReach device to send a distress signal to troopers in Soldotna.
It’s currently unclear how far the bear fell before it landed on McCormick.
On average, black bears are much smaller than grizzly bears. However, a report by NOVA says black bears begin their hibernation process in the summer and reach peak weight by the fall. At that point, black bears can gain as much as 30 pounds per week.
According to CNN, both men are in the military and are currently stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, an Air Force and Army base located near Anchorage. McCormick is reportedly serving as a specialist with the base’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.
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