Man Survives Bear Attack by Climbing 30 Feet Up Tree to Call 911

Hiker used ski poles to fight for his life before climbing up tree

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    A brown bear similar to this one attacked an Alaskan hiker on Sunday.

    An Alaskan hiker who was mauled by a bear fled 30 feet up a tree to call 911.

    "I can hear the brown bear, it’s still huffing in the trees," Ben Radakovich said in the call. "I’m as high up in a tree as I can get."

    Radakovich was walking along the Penguin Creek Trail early Sunday morning when he was charged, bitten on the neck and back and swatted in the face by a female brown bear protecting her nearby cub, Anchorage's NBC affiliate Channel 2 reported.

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    A huge black bear, affectionately called "Meatball" by locals, was tranquilized after stroll through a Los Angeles area suburb. The bear was later released safely back into the wild, according to Fish and Game officials.

    He said the sounds of a nearby creek must have drowned out his screams, and he didn't have time to get his bear spray out of his backpack.

    Using only his ski poles to defend himself, he was able to climb a tree and call 911, he said.

    It took state troopers two hours to find Radakovich. Once rescued, he was taken to Providence Alaska Medical Center.

    "He was pretty cold, shivering," Trooper Tim Lewis told Anchorage's NBC affiliate Channel 2. "He had multiple injuries, serious injuries."

    Radakovich has since been released from the hospital and was recovering at home.