Alaskan Hiker Rescued Thanks to Wildlife Cam

Observers alerted rangers in Katmai National Park to hiker asking for help
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2023 2:56 PM CDT
Wildlife Cam May Have Saved Alaskan Hiker
A view of Alaska's Katmai National Park.   (Getty / christiannafzger)

A hiker in remote Alaska used his wits to summon help in rough weather. As NPR reports, the unidentified man showed up on the live-stream of a wildlife camera on Dumpling Mountain in Katmai National Park. He approached the camera twice, once to mouth the words "help me" and again to give a thumbs-down signal. People watching the cam—probably hoping to catch a glimpse of the park's brown bears—picked up on his pleas, per CNN. "There is someone distressed on the camera," one viewer posted in the stream's comments section. A moderator saw it and alerted a park ranger.

Others also took action. "I called the local PD and tried my best not to sound like a crazy bear person in Oklahoma," one user wrote, per the New York Times. It all worked. "The park sent a search-and-rescue team to find the hiker, who was caught in windy and rainy conditions with poor visibility," said the National Park Service a statement. "Park rangers found the hiker a few hours later, unharmed, and brought the hiker back to safety." Had the man been unable to get back on his own before nightfall, a park official suggests he may not have survived the night. The cam is operated by, and a spokesperson says this is a first for the organization. (Read more hikers stories.)

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