ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska park rangers are searching the area where a brown bear attacked three young people hiking in a heavily wooded area just north of Alaska’s biggest city.

Chugach State Park chief ranger Kurt Hensel says rangers are sweeping the Eagle River campground Thursday to determine if the female bear was wounded and still lingering in the area. Authorities say the bear might have been defending two cubs when the animals encountered four hikers.

Hensel says three of the hikers sustained minor scratches on their arms and legs. The fourth was unharmed.

Anchorage authorities say responding officers fired shots at the bear when it charged them. Fish and Game officials say blood drops were found, indicating the bear was struck, but they called off their search on Wednesday.

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