NYPost The search for a missing man in Alaska ended Wednesday when he was found dead in the woods, likely because of a bear attack, police said. Michael Soltis, 44, last was seen Monday evening in the area of Hiland Road in Anchorage where police say he went for a hike. At approximately 10:32 a.m. Wednesday, a volunteer searching for Soltis was attacked by a brown bear near the same area last he was seen. The unidentified volunteer was taken to a hospital, and is expected to survive. Shortly after the attack, Anchorage police entered the woods where they located Soltis who they say died as a result of a bear attack. “It appears the brown bear was protecting the body when it attacked a member of the search party,” police said in a statement. The animal was not immediately found, and authorities were asking people to stay away from the wooded area. “We believe the bear that attacked the volunteer was the one that attacked and killed the missing man,” police spokesman MJ Thim said. Authorities removed Soltis’ body, and posted bear warning signs on a small footpath leading from the road to the woods. Alaska Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said agency representatives were investigating at the site to determine whether the bear attack was predatory or a defensive action, such as guarding bear cubs or a food cache like a dead moose.
A hiker named Michael Soltis went missing in Alaska, and when a volunteer search party went out to look for him, a member of the search party was attacked by a brown bear not far from where Soltis was initially reported missing. When the bear attacked the member of the search party, it appears that the bear was protecting its recent prey, the corpse of Michael Soltis who the bear had already attacked and killed earlier. Further, when the bear attacked Michael Soltis, it may have been defending the corpse of a dead moose and may have perceived Soltis as a scavenger who was a threat to its meal. The good news is, while the volunteer who was attacked by the bear was rushed to a local hospital, he is expected to survive. When this attack is investigated further, I would expect that the bear was either a mother sow with cubs protecting a meal for her young, or an old or injured bear who had to defend its meal at all costs for survival purposes.
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