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Alaska guardsman mauled by bear while training at JBER

Jul. 21, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
A brown bear is pictured on December 21,
A brown bear attacked a National Guard soldier at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The guardsman was reported to be in stable condition. (Don Emmert / AFP via Getty Images)
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A soldier with the Alaska Army National Guard was in stable condition Sunday after “an encounter with a brown bear sow defending her nearby cubs” that took place during training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the base announced in a news release.

The soldier, whose name was not released, was taking part in a land navigation exercise at the time of the incident, the release says. The victim was transferred to the base hospital; no further information was immediately available.

The incident was reported by KTUU-TV on Sunday. That station reported a similar attack on the base in May, when Jessica Gamboa was attacked while jogging with her soldier-husband on a weekend afternoon. The pair reportedly had become separated and the woman “stumbled upon a 7- to 8-foot sow with two cubs,” according to the report.

The bear clawed and bit Gamboa, according to a follow-up report, but the woman played dead and managed to walk away from the attack, drenched in blood, and seek help. She eventually drew the attention of an off-duty combat medic who rushed her to the hospital, where she recovered.

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