Hiker killed by bear while taking photographs of the animal

Denali National Park 
By: Eva Fett 

Bears are not friendly and they will kill you.

A Southern California man was killed by a grizzly bear during an Alaska trip while he was taking pictures of the animal that killed him moments before the attack, an official of the National Park Service said this week.

The bear that killed Richard White, 49, was still on his body when he was found by rangers in Denali National Park, on Saturday, the official said.

The San Diego resident was backpacking alone for three nights, when he was maimed to death by the bear, according to a park service official.

The pictures that were in the camera revealed that White was watching the bear for at least eight minutes near a river before the attack.

"The bear was not aware that White was there until the last couple of shots, and then turned its attention," park spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin said.

The photos "are not as demonstrative" and show "nothing graphic, or showing any signs of aggression," said McLaughlin. "We're not sure what happened after the camera was put down," he said.

State troopers, rangers and wildlife biologists, using photos to identify the "big male bear", shot and killed the animal, because it was still "defending the place of the killing along the Toklat River as the rescue team tried to reach White's remains," the park service said.

The first sign of trouble came on Friday afternoon, when three hikers noticed an abandoned backpack and signs of a struggle, including torn clothes and blood along the river, the park services said.

Hikers returned to a rest area, about three miles to the south, and alerted authorities about 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

About two hours later, the rangers conducted an aerial search and saw the bear with the victim’s remains.

The bear initially fled, but returned to the scene soon after while the rangers were investigating the scene, forcing the rangers to kill it, the park services said.