Bear bites man that fed it

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 06:06
Day at the lake is no pic-a-nic

Bait a bear with your barbecue? Big boo-boo, buddy.

An Anchorage man was cited for illegally feeding wildlife after a bear he was feeding barbecue attacked during a Saturday, June 15 encounter near Eklutna Lake.

Alaska State Troopers said Jesus Mabalot, 38, was issued a citation for Feeding Game, with bail for the offense set at $310.

Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said the attack happened around 7 p.m. Saturday night. Ipsen said Mabalot left a church picnic being held at the lake and ventured out on his own on a bicycle — bringing along some barbecue for the ride. He'd been drinking alcohol, Ipsen said. While riding somewhere between the self-pay fee station and an ice cream stand near the lake, Mabalot ran across a black bear and wanted to share some of his food with the bruin.

"He decided to feed it some barbecued meat on a stick," Ipsen said.

The bear happily accepted the first morsel, but quickly became less grateful when offered seconds.

"That's when the bear attacked him," Ipsen said.

Mabalot was found rinsing his wounds in the lake by a park ranger. He was taken to an Anchorage hospital and treated for scratches on his back and a puncture wound to his jaw.

"It was a very short, quick attack," Ipsen said. "He didn't really even know what had happened to him."

She said the circumstances of the attack were somewhat unclear because of the man's poor command of English.

"There was a language barrier," she said.

In addition to being against the law, Ipsen said feedling wildlife — especially bears — isn't a very smart idea.

"Definitely not," she said.

The bizarre story drew some international attention after Taiwanese animation studio Next Media Animation created a parody video for its TomoNews US YouTube page on Tuesday, June 18.

To watch the video, click here.

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