Bear bites man that fed it

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 19:00
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 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 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.

Ipsen said Mabalot could have been hurt much worse.

“He’s pretty lucky,” she said.

The bizarre story drew international attention earlier this week when Taiwanese animation studio Next Media Animation created a parody for its TomoNews US YouTube page. The video shows a brief reenactment of the incident as imagined by the studio’s animators.

To view the video visit


Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or [email protected].

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