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Grizzly bear kills hunter in first attack recorded in nation’s largest park

Victim was on a 10-day moose hunt

File photo. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
File photo. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

COPPER CENTER, Alaska – A hunter has been killed by a grizzly bear in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

It’s the first-known grizzly attack death in the nation’s largest national park.

Park officials said in a statement that the hunter was killed Sunday, attacked while the hunter and a friend were near the Chisana River drainage.

The two were on a 10-day moose hunt.

The hunter’s identity has not been released pending an investigation.

A message left with the park seeking more information Wednesday wasn’t immediately returned.

Officials said the incident is the first deadly encounter with a grizzly bear since the park was established 40 years ago.

The closet community to the park is Copper Center, which is about 200 miles (322 kilometers) northeast of Anchorage. The park is 13.2 million acres (5.3 million hectares) which the park’s webpage says is the size of Switzerland, Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park combined.