Bear ignored spray

Spray is good, but not a magic talisman even when used correctly

Craig Medred

Rob Foster Black Bear The predatory black bear that pursued a Canadian for 45 minutes/Rob Foster photo

Updated on June 23 to include other bear spray failures

A black bear that killed a 27-year-old Anchorage woman in central Alaska on Monday appears to have hunted down the woman and a colleague while they were conducting environmental surveys for the Pogo Mine.

The bear jumped one of the women from behind before she had any chance react, and then moved on to the woman’s colleague, their employer, himself a wildlife biologist, said Thursday.

An attempt to drive the bear off with pepper spray failed.  The efficacy of pepper spray has been questioned in other cases involving predatory black bears.

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