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Joshua Berg, Rockland Teen Mauled By Grizzly Bear In Alaska, Recovering

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(credit: Handout via CBS 2)

(credit: Handout via CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Rockland County teenager mauled by a bear in Alaska is recovering Tuesday, Kendis Gibson reports.

The horrifying encounter played out Saturday night deep in the Alaskan wilderness. Seven teenagers, including three from New York and Connecticut were nearing the end of a month-long survival course, when 17-year-old Joshua Berg of New City noticed the grizzly.

Berg yelled “Bear! Bear!”

“It was terrifying,” said 16-year-old Noah Allaire of Albuquerque. “We came upon the bear as we walked around a rock out-cropping. The bear began to attack. Basically it was so fast and vicious, the teens had little time to practice the skills they had learned. Instead of playing dead, they ran. They scattered so quickly, no one had time to grab their bear deterrent spray.”

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It was too late, the bear came charging at him and took him down, 17-year-old Sam Gottsegen said. Gottsegen and Berg are still hospitalized.

“The most vivid thing I remember running and looking behind me, and just seeing this huge, snarling, grizzly bear,” Gottsegen said. “I’m extremely lucky, so lucky.”

“I thought it was some sort of nightmare I might be having, because it was pretty hazy due to the adrenaline I guess,” said Sam Melvin of Huntington. “I do remember helplessly standing up there basically watching as this bear chased everyone around and eventually ran up the hill.”

The attack lasted only a minute, but left four of the teenagers injured. Berg suffered life-threatening injuries. It took Alaskan state troopers several hours to get to the campsite in the Talkeenta Mountains. The two most seriously injured students needed to be airlifted to safety.

16-year-old Samuel Boas of Westport, Conn. stayed behind with rescuers to help aid the injured. Boas had emergency medical technician training.

“We had been there for seven plus hours and it was, you know, it was hard so when I heard the helicopter I was extremely relieved,” said Alair.

Are you concerned about the seeming increase in encounters between humans and bears? Sound off in our comments section below…

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