A sign and road blocker at the head of the Hidden Creek Trail on Skilak Lake Road warns people about bear activity on Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign and road blocker at the head of the Hidden Creek Trail on Skilak Lake Road warns people about bear activity on Sunday, June 13, 2021 in Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Campers kayak to safety after Skilak bear attack

They were at the mouth of Hidden Creek along the shoreline of Skilak Lake

Two campers kayaked for help after they were attacked by a bear in the Skilak area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday morning, according to a press release from the refuge.

They were at the mouth of Hidden Creek along the shoreline of Skilak Lake when the bear wounded them. After paddling to Upper Skilak Lake Campground, they were assisted by other campers until medical personnel arrived on the scene by helicopter and ambulance. The pair was then transported to area hospitals.

Biologists and wildlife officers with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game returned to the campsite to retrieve the pair’s equipment and complete an investigation.

According to the release, officials didn’t find any bears in the area, but they do plan to conduct a DNA analysis of the gear to identify the species of bear involved in the attack.

Hidden Creek Trail was temporarily closed soon after the incident, and signs remain with warnings to inform visitors of the incident, the release stated.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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