Alaska hiker found alive after reported missing and chased by bears


(NEW YORK) -- An Alaska hiker whose whereabouts were unknown for nearly two days after she reported being chased off a trail by bears was found alive Wednesday evening, officials said.

Fina Kiefer, 55, of Palmer, Alaska, emerged from the woods and was spotted on a road about a mile from the Pioneer Ridge trailhead. Kiefer was injured and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation, according to a statement from the Alaska State Troopers.

The Alaska State Troopers were notified on Tuesday around 1:29 a.m. local time that Kiefer was alone and in need of assistance on Pioneer Ridge Trail near Palmer, about 42 miles northeast of Anchorage. Kiefer had called her husband asking for help after she said she was charged by multiple bears and had to use bear spray. But she stopped responding to telephone calls and text messages shortly thereafter, according to the state troopers.

A search was launched, with state troopers enlisting the help of volunteers and Alaska's National Guard. Teams with dogs on the ground scoured the trail and the surrounding area for any signs of Kiefer, while crews in helicopters looked from above. But after more than 39 hours, they found no evidence of the missing hiker and had to call off their efforts as weather conditions deteriorated, according to the Alaska State Troopers

Then, a volunteer who was leaving the search area saw Kiefer as they were driving on Knik River Road and notified the Alaska State Troopers on Wednesday at around 5:30 p.m. local time.

Kiefer's condition and the extent of her injuries were not immediately known. ABC News has reached out to the Alaska State Troopers for more information.

Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 11:06AM by Morgan Winsor, ABC News Permalink