A grizzly bear attacked seven teenage boys as they crossed a river in Alaska's Talkeetna Mountains Saturday night, seriously injuring two and forcing an emergency rescue early Sunday morning. The group was one of several finishing a 30-day backpacking trip through the Alaska wilderness on a survival skills course with the National Outdoor Leadership School. The teens, who were traveling without an instructor, were crossing a riverwhen they encountered a grizzly bear at river's the far side. Four of the teens were injured, three of whom remain hospitalized at Providence Alaska medical center in Anchorage. Don Ford, the Alaska director for the National Outdoor Leadership School said the bear appeared to be guarding a cub. "They didn't actually see the cub, but they saw some rustling in the brush," he said. After the attack, the teens set up camp and activated an emergency beacon. A helicopter carrying an Alaska state trooper responded around 2:45 A.M. and removed four of the students. The two most seriously injured were forced to wait with the trooper until a medivac-equipped helicopter arrived some four hours later. NOLS has since canceled the remaining six days of the course and airlifted all students and instructors back to the school's Alaska headquarters in Palmer. Earlier this month, a grizzly bear attacked and killed a man hiking in Yellowstone National Park.
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