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Bear kills Calif. man in Denali National Park

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POSTED August 26, 2012 6:04 p.m.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A hiker in Alaska's Denali National Park photographed a grizzly bear for at least eight minutes before the bear mauled and killed him in the first fatal attack in the park's history, officials said Saturday.

Investigators have recovered the camera and looked at the photographs, which show the bear grazing and not acting aggressively before the attack, Denali Park Superintendent Paul Anderson said.

The hiker was identified late Saturday as Richard White, 49, of San Diego. He was backpacking alone along the Toklat River on Friday afternoon when he came within 50 yards of the bear, far closer than the quarter-mile of separation required by park rules, officials said.

Officials learned of the attack after hikers stumbled upon an abandoned backpack along the river about three miles from a rest area on Friday afternoon. The hikers also spotted torn clothing and blood. They immediately hiked back and alerted staff park.

Rangers in a helicopter spotted a large male grizzly bear sitting on the hiker's remains, which they called a "food cache" in the underbrush about 100 to 150 yards from the site of the attack on Friday.

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