Soldier mauled by bear was wearing protective gear

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials say a 26-year-old Alaska Army National Guard soldier was wearing a combat helmet and other protective gear when he was attacked by a bear while participating in a training exercise at a military base.

Sgt. Lucas Wendeborn of Valdez is being treated for puncture wounds and lacerations after the mauling Sunday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Base officials say the female brown bear was defending her two cubs.

Guard spokeswoman Candis Olmstead says Wendeborn's injuries are not life-threatening.

Wendeborn was participating in a navigation exercise that involves giving soldiers compasses and maps and timing them as they make their way alone to locations on a course.

It was the second mauling at the base in two months. Jessica Gamboa, a soldier's wife, was badly mauled May 18 as she jogged.

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