Bear camera helps lead to rescue of distressed hiker

Hiker rescued from Alaska’s Katmai National Park after eagle-eyed viewers spotted him on livestream

Bevan Hurley
Sunday 10 September 2023 16:57 BST
Lost hiker rescued from remote Alaska after pleading 'help me' into bear camera

A lost hiker was rescued from Alaska’s Katmai National Park after he was spotted on a live bear camera livestream mouthing “help me”.

The unidentified hiker was spotted on Dumpling Mountain on 5 September in a remote part of the state by vigilant viewers of the live camera.

He appeared to say “lost” and “help me” into the camera, and gave a thumbs down to indicate he was in trouble.

Viewers alerted moderators at, who contacted Katmai National Park rangers about the distressed hiker.

Within hours, Katmai Park rangers were then able to reach the stricken hiker near the peak of the 2,400 foot (750m) mountain.

“Today dedicated bear cam fans alerted us to a man in distress on Dumpling Mountain. The heroic rangers @KatmaiNPS sprung into action and mounted a search saving the man,” said in a post on X/Twitter.

Bear camera viewers celebrated the hiker’s safe return.

A lost hiker was saved after he mouthed the word ‘help’ into a bear camera in Alaska’s Katmai National Park

There was no cell service and limited visibility due to high winds, driving rain and fog, Mike Fitz, a former Katmai ranger, told USA Today.

“Even though you’re only two straight-line miles from Brooks River and the lodge in the park visitor center that happens to be there in the campground, in that situation, it can feel like a world apart,” Mr Fritz told the news site.

“The weather often is much worse on top of the mountain… it’s just really difficult to get your bearings.”

Katmai, about 250 miles northwest of Anchorage, is only accessible by plane or boat, and is famous for its large population of brown bears.

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