Grizzly Bear Attack Survivor Describes Ordeal


"During the night, I was in too much pain. I could only focus on breathing. By the time trooper got there, I was in better condition. I heard noises around me and thought if this bear comes back I won't make it," he said.

At one point, Gottsegen glanced over and saw his friend's face. "It just hit me I may have witnessed my friend die."

A helicopter carrying a pilot and a state trooper was launched and at 2:45 a.m., the students were found in a tent.

Gottsegen and Berg are currently in Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. According to hospital spokesperson, Crystal Bailey, Gottsegen has now been updated to "good condition," while Berg is still listed as being in "serious condition."

Martin was taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center and was released after being treated for a bite wound above his ankle, according to Palmer.

Noah Allaine, 16, of Albuquerque, N.M., was also taken into Mat-Su, and listed in good condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

In a phone call from his hospital bed, Gottsegen told his parents, "I have a bunch of cuts on my stomach and back... I guess they said I have two broken ribs, and bite marks on my head."

Looking distressed during the call, Gottsegn's mother, Mindy Gottsegen, said that hearing her son's voice after the bear attack "was like a miracle."

"It was just amazing because the hour that I spent before that was probably one of the hardest hours of my life," she said.

Alaska state troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters applauded the teens' survival skills.

"For one thing they were prepared to be out on the wilderness, they had the necessary gear. Those were right things to do. They were able to keep their heads about them, stay together and look after each other," Peters said.

Another group from the NOLS was backpacking about 6 miles away from the bear attack, though they never came in contact with the bear. They were plucked out of the woods by helicopter on Sunday night.

The attack comes less than a month after a 57-year old man was killed in Yellowstone National Park when he and his wife encountered a bear on a hike. In that case officials believe that the bear was also protecting her cubs.

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