ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Authorities in Alaska say one person was mauled by a bear while searching for a missing hiker near Alaska’s largest city.

Anchorage police say the male victim had serious injuries to the leg in the Wednesday incident near Eagle River, an Anchorage suburb. The victim, whose identity was not released, was hospitalized. The brown bear was not immediately found.

The attack occurred during a search for 44-year-old Michael Soltis, who was last seen near Eagle River on Monday afternoon and presumed to be going on a hike.

Alaska Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh says agency representatives were heading to the site. They will try 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.

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