A young mine worker was fatally mauled Monday on an Alaskan island where bears outnumber people, authorities say. The victim, who was working at a remote drill site accessible only by helicopter, has been identified as Anthony David Montoya, an 18-year-old from Hollis, Okla., the AP reports. Authorities say Montoya was killed by a brown bear and her two cubs. "All three bears were killed prior to troopers arriving on scene," Alaska state troopers said, though it was unclear who killed the bears. There are believed to be around 1,500 brown bears on Admiralty Island, 18 miles southwest of Juneau.
Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co. spokesman Mike Satre said Montoya was a contract employee who worked for a drilling company based in Idaho, the Anchorage Daily News reports. "This is a tragic incident. Bears are regular visitors in and around our workplace, however this is the first time since the mine opened almost 30 years ago that a bear encounter has resulted in an injury of any kind," Satre said in a statement. He said employees and contractors receive training on how to deal with bears and workers generally carry bear spray, especially when working in remote areas. (A soldier was badly injured elsewhere in Alaska on Saturday when the bear he shot fell on him.)