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Hiker Found Alive After Alaska Bear Ordeal

She was chased off the trail and couldn't find it again, authorities say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2021 3:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – A solo hiker who told her husband she had been charged by bears on an Alaska trail has been found alive after a two-day search. Authorities began the search for 55-year-old Fina Kiefer early Tuesday after she called her husband for help, saying she had used bear spray after multiple bears charged on the Pioneer Ridge Trail northeast of Anchorage, NBC reports. Efforts to reach her by phone after the initial call were unsuccessful. Kiefer emerged from the woods about a mile from the trailhead Wednesday evening after deteriorating weather had ended the day's search, reports the Frontiersman. State troopers say she was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

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"She was chased off the trail by bears and couldn’t find it again," Master Sgt. Evan Budd, superintendent of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center said in a statement Wednesday night, per the Anchorage Daily News. "She had waterproof matches and was able to start a fire last night." The search for Kiefer was joined by troopers, rescue dogs, Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, and the Alaska Air National Guard. Budd said Kiefer could see search helicopters but they were unable to spot her in dense vegetation. (An Alaska man survived another terrifying bear encounter last month.)

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