Hiker in Alaska Killed After Taking Close-Up Pictures of a Grizzly Bear

This past Friday wasn’t a good day for photographers. On the same day that one wedding photographer saw his client drown in a freak accident during a trash the dress shoot, a man hiking in Alaska was mauled to death by a grizzly bear after getting too close to it with his camera.

The hiker, identified as 49-year-old Richard White of San Diego, stumbled upon the bear while backpacking along the Toklat River in Denali National Park.

After spotting the bear, he walked closer instead of retreating to a safe distance. Although the park rules require at least a quarter-mile of separation between hikers and bears, White got within 50 yards of the bear and spent 8 minutes taking pictures of it with his digital camera.

The details of what happened were pieced together by investigators after discovering the body, killing the bear, and locating the camera. The photos on the memory card showed images of the bear grazing peacefully prior to the attack.

If you’re hiking the wilderness and hunting for once-in-a-lifetime wildlife photographs, remember that wildlife has the word “wild” in it for a reason.

(via Washington Post)

Image credit: Grizzly bear in Denali National Park by sibin

  • Loveak

    I live in Alaska there is no shortage of bears….. They always kill bears that maul people whether the person dies or not. Usually the people in my experience(lifelong resident in a small town highly bear populated) that get much much too close to bears are tourists trying to take the best pic, when I check out bears I stay behind the tourists or in my vehicle. We have a rare occurrence of a grizzly this year with quadruplets in town people were forgetting all common sense to get a pic of this phenomenon it was becoming insane, everyone’s lucky we have an abundance of dead fish laying around because there are a lot of easy meals for these bears here 50 feet away with cameras….. Bears have to be killed once they cross that line unfortunate but a harsh reality the possibility of other attacks go much higher once a bear looses that fear of humans…. Bears prefer an easy meal everytime!!!

  • Buy A Dictionary

    I bet all those surplus bears know how to spell “loses”

  • Idaho Photographer/Archer

    @adamlunatone:disqus, check you facts a little more carefully. The wolves that were “reintroduced” to the Rocky Mountains are NOT NATIVE to the area. They are a larger breed, and have already FAR SURPASSED population goals. This is why there is now a hunting season for Wolves. Hunters are being utilized to manage the populations of wolves, just as they are used to manage other local species of wild game.

    Management of game species is necessary due to shrinking habitat caused by our (human’s) development of lands for homes & business.

    Before you jump up on your soapbox about how we should quit developing nature into neighborhoods and business parks, you better look around and see where you live. Unless it is in a tree that was previously uninhabited by ANY creatures, it would appear that you too are encroaching on the habitat of other beings.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    Maybe you need to check facts, wolves are no where near population goals and hunters have not been legally allowed to kill them, illegal hunters have been trying to pass off wolf kills as being coyotes – which is obviously ridiculous. The wolves are needed to keep deer numbers at bay because of deer population booms causing over grazing, over grazing obviously doesn’t let grasses and trees grow back and that affects the whole ecosystem – but of course people want lots of deer so they can kill them for “sport” and hang their heads on their walls

  • Idaho Photographer/Archer

    Umm… hunters have not been legally allowed to kill them? I currently hold 2 LEGAL wolf tags in the state of Idaho for the 2012/2013 wolf management season. The Idaho Department of Fish & Game has this to say:

    Wolves in Idaho are no longer under the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act.
    On May 5, 2011, wolf management in all of Idaho reverted to state management under state code 36-1107 and Idaho’s 2002 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. [PDF, 662 KB]
    Simply put, the law says wolves molesting or attacking livestock or
    domestic animals may be disposed of by livestock or domestic animal
    owners, their employees, agents and animal damage control personnel. No
    permit from Fish and Game is necessary. The incident must be reported
    to the Fish and Game director within 72 hours, with additional
    reasonable time allowed if access to the site where taken is limited.
    Wolves so taken shall remain the property of the state.
    Livestock and domestic animal owners may take all nonlethal steps
    they deem necessary to protect their property. A permit must be
    obtained from the director to control wolves not molesting or attacking
    livestock or domestic animals. Control is also permitted by owners,
    their employees and agents pursuant to the Idaho department of fish and
    game harvest rules. “Molesting” means the actions of a wolf that are
    annoying, disturbing or persecuting, especially with hostile intent or
    injurious effect, or chasing, driving, flushing, worrying, following
    after or on the trail of, or stalking or lying in wait for, livestock or
    domestic animals.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    well I hope you’re proud of your “tags”. This whole idea of needing to control wildlife baffles me. When the majority realise how wasteful and unsustainable meat production is and move to a plant based diet – thankfully then species like wolves and other apex predators won’t have to be mercilessly killed to protect cattle (cattle that shouldn’t even be there in the first place). It just comes down to humans thinking they’re better than anything else on the planet, thinking they own whatever they put their feet on – it’s always the wildlife that suffers.

  • Publotard

    you should check you spelling

  • Timothy Wahl

    They didn’t have to kill the bear.

  • Timothy Wahl

    The shooting of the bear has NOTHING to do with game management.

  • Louis Amore

    killing the Bear, how terrible, bullshit

  • fuadamcross

    lmao really? were at the top of the food chain for a reason.. if you want to go live with the wolves be my guest, you can get hunted just like them, you can try to be an internet warrior all u want but nothings going to change. Meats good man, im not changing my whole diet and way of life for some prick who thinks they know everything about everything? how long have we been eating meat? a long A$$ time, and guess what were still alive, and top of the food chain, i hope you get eaten by bears or wolves trying to be their friend.. lmao smh