In less than a week, four people were attacked by bears in Alaska, with two succumbing to their injuries.
In the latest attack, two individuals - Alex Ippoliti and James Fredrick – were cycling near Anchorage on Saturday (24 June) when a brown bear attacked Fredrick. Fredrick suffered lacerations to his neck and lose part of his biceps muscle.
"The bear came out of nowhere and pulled him off his bike," Ippoliti told ABC News. "It did not go as planned."
Luckily, Ippoliti was carrying a bear repellent spray and used it to get the bear away from Fredrick.
They quickly moved away from the area and met an environmental conservation officer who took Fredrick to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
In another attack, a 45-year-old man Joshua Brekken - who was gathering firewood on Palmer Creek Road – was attacked by a brown bear over the weekend. Ken Marsh an Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman said Brekken and his dog were walking on a trail out back of a cabin when he saw a brown bear in front of him.
Brekken tried to climb the tree but the bear "swatted him out of the tree" which caused minor injuries before the bear left back into the woods.
On 18 June, Patrick Cooper, 16, was chased and killed by a black bear while running a race near Anchorage. Cooper had managed to call his family before the bear attacked him.
State biologists have shot and killed four black bears in the Bird Ridge area, including the one they believe attacked Cooper.
Before Cooper's death, Erin Johnson - who was collecting geological samples near a mine around 275 miles north-east of Anchorage - was attacked and killed by a "hyper-aggressive bear", the Guardian reported.
Wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott told CBS that, "All of a sudden you have two in the course of two days, and it's a lightning strike." According to Sinnott, there have only been six fatal bear attacks in the state in 130 years of records.
Alaskan officials have told their residents to carry bear spray or a gun while hiking, running, or biking through the bear habitat. If there is a bear encounter, throw rocks at the bear or hit it in the face, rather than running away or playing dead.
Fatal black bear attacks on humans are very rare, experts say. Around 90% of deaths by bears in Alaska are caused by brown bears or grizzlies.