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Man used his phone to call 911 after being mauled by bear while walking dog in Alaska woods


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 62-year-old man used his cellphone to call 911 after he was mauled by a bear while walking a neighbor's dog in Alaska woods, authorities said Monday.

Danny High of Funny River, Alaska, was in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said his family doesn't want details released about his injuries.

High didn't have a gun or bear spray when he was attacked Sunday, authorities said.

"He called 911 to report that he'd been injured in a bear mauling," Central Emergency Services Capt. Terry Bookey said.

Alaska State Troopers described High's injuries as major when he was flown from the scene to Anchorage. Troopers were unable to find the bear.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms said High was accustomed to walking the dog through the area, which has a series of four-wheeler trails where bears have been seen many times. At one point, the neighbor saw the dog but not High and became concerned, Harms said.

The dog, Leila, is owned by Diane Deming, who told Anchorage television station KTUU the dog returned from the walk by itself, scratching at the front and back doors. Deming didn't know what had happened, and neighbors later learned of the attack after a helicopter and other emergency vehicles arrived.

A Fish and Game biologist was among the officials who inspected the vicinity. The biologist was unable to identify the area where the attack occurred, Harms said.

Agency officials were trying to confirm if the attack was committed by a brown bear or black bear and were going on the assumption that it was a brown bear, she said.

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