Brown bear attack reported on Hiland; avoid area
Anchorage Police asks the public to avoid an area on Hiland Road as they respond to a reported bear attack that left one person dead and another with serious injuries.
APD Spokesperson MJ Thim said 44-year-old Michael Soltis' body was found shortly after a search party member was attacked by a brown bear nearby.
"What we believe is that the victim was attacked by the bear and taken to this location," Thim said. "And then brown bear was protecting its prey, its find when the volunteer group was in the area. And the adult male volunteer was attacked."
A perimeter is set up around his body as they protect the body from the bear and await the state medical examiner
"We have a brown bear on the loose that we're trying to keep away from the body of Michael Soltis," Thim said.
Police were called at 10:28 a.m. about a person reportedly getting attacked by a bear, according to APD.
"Police Dispatch were notified that one of the people searching for missing person Michael Soltis had been attacked by a brown bear near the area at the dead end of Hiland Road in Eagle River," police wrote.
The location of the attack happened around Mile 9 or Hiland Road. An Alaska Park Ranger told the search team who were looking for Soltis should halt the search because there is an aggressive bear in the area protecting a food source.
Neighbors in the area reported seeing two moose calves in that area recently.
The victim was sent to the hospital with serious injuries to his leg but is expected to survive.
Troopers have sent in their helicopter to help search for the missing hiker.
Police were told Soltis was last seen around 5 p.m. on Monday near the area of Mile 8 of Hiland Road. Friends of Soltis told KTVA he went to work on Monday but didn't show up for work on Tuesday. A co-worker went over to check on him and discovered thawing chicken on the counter and vegetables being prepared for dinner.
The location of the bear is unknown. Police are asking people to avoid the area as they investigate.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
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