Fat bear camera leads to rescue of hiker on Alaska mountain

Viewers noticed the man appeared to be asking for help in video

Bear 747, winner of Fat Bear Week 2022. The camera that captured the hiker was set up to observe bears as they bulk up for winter. Photo: L. Law.
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A bedraggled hiker who appeared to be lost on a southern Alaskan mountainside was rescued after he was spotted asking for help via a wildlife camera that is ordinarily used to spot fat bears.

Rangers at Katmai National Park and Preserve sprang into action to look for the man after Bear Cam viewers saw him approach the camera on Tuesday.

While there was no audio, viewers who were able to read his lips said he appeared to be asking for help.

“There is someone distressed on the camera,” someone posted in the comments section of Explore.org, which was running the video feed.

Explore then notified park rangers.

On X, formerly Twitter, Explore posted a video of the man, whose identity has not been released, as well as rangers helping him off the mountain. He appeared to be cold and wet.

The camera forms part of a network that are viewed by thousands of people during Fat Bear Week, an annual competition in which wildlife lovers select their favourite grizzly as it chunks up ahead of winter hibernation.

Last year's winner was Bear 747, a creature so big it was named after a jumbo jet.

Alaska brown bears – in pictures

Updated: September 08, 2023, 5:57 PM