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Alaska hunter mauled by bear survives 36 hours in wilderness

By AnneClaire Stapleton and Holly Yan, CNN
updated 10:19 AM EDT, Sun August 18, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A nearby hunter happened to be a medical professional and helped save the man
  • The attack took place in northern Alaska, about 35, miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass
  • Helicopter teams had to turn back several times due to dense fog and weather
  • The man was in stable condition at a Fairbanks hospital

(CNN) -- A hunter mauled by a bear in Alaska survived 36 hours in the remote wilderness before rescuers using night-vision goggles found him, the Alaska National Guard said.

The man, who was part of a guided hunting party, was attacked about 35 miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass. Helicopter rescue teams tried to reach the man several times, but had to turn back due to dense fog and weather, the Guard said.

The hunter suffered significant blood loss but was stabilized by a medical professional who happened to be in another hunting group, the Guard said.

"The pararescuemen credit him for saving the man's life. He provided expert care with limited resource for several hours, ultimately stabilizing, warming and rehydrating the victim," Air Force Master Sgt. Armando Soria said.

Around 3 a.m. Saturday, a helicopter managed to land at the scene. Crews had to use night-vision goggles because they were operating during the darkest time of night, the Alaska National guard said.

Rescuers flew the man to Eielson Air Force Base because the fog was too dense to land at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The man was later taken to Fairbanks by ambulance.

The man was in stable condition Saturday night, hospital nursing supervisor Marlene Merdes said.

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