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Viewers spot lost hiker on Katmai bear cam prompting rescue

Brooks Falls at Katmai National Park and Preserve
Brian Venua
Brooks Falls at Katmai National Park and Preserve

On September 5, viewers watching alive web camera stream located on Katmai’s Dumpling Mountain saw a lone hiker signaling for help. The camera, one of seven ‘bear cams’ set up around the park, lets people around the world see Katmai’s famous brown bears from June to October. The mountain is near Brooks Falls, one of the most popular bear-viewing areas.

According to a statement from park officials, the hiker was caught in stormy, low-visibility conditions. Live-stream viewers and staff from Explore.org, the camera company that partners with the park, notified park rangers. A search and rescue team reached the hiker a few hours later and brought him to Brooks Camp, at the mouth of Brooks River. The hiker was unharmed.

Explore.org said in a statement that after park rangers began to coordinate a search and rescue effort, staff disconnected the web camera’s public feed but continued to monitor and share information with National Parks Service staff.

Katmai National Park and Preserve staff have shared the following resources for visiting the park:

    - Backcountry Hiking and Camping - Katmai National Park & Preserve
    - Trip Planning Guide - Health & Safety
    - Outdoor Emergency Plan
    - Ten Essentials

    Get in touch with the author at christina@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.

    Christina McDermott began reporting for KDLG, Dillingham’s NPR member station, in March 2023. Previously, she worked with KCBX News in San Luis Obispo, California, where she focused on local news and cultural stories. She’s passionate about producing evocative, sound-rich work that informs and connects the public.