A lost hiker was saved Tuesday in a national park in Alaska thanks to vigilant onlookers who watched a live feed from a camera dedicated to filming grizzly bears.
Lost on Dumpling Mountain, the hiker addressed the camera and said things like “lost” and “help me.”
Rangers in Katmai National Park were alerted to the man and were able to rescue him.
The park is one of the most remote parks in the United States, and can only be reached by plane or boat.
At around 3:15 p.m. local time, bear lovers were watching the live cam on Dumpling Mountain on Explore.org — a documentary channel and network of live nature cams — when an online viewer commented: “There’s a disturbed person on camera.”
The camera did not play sound, but viewers understood through lip reading that the climber was calling for help.
Explore.org also told the BBC that the man “dropped his thumb.”
There is no cell phone network available on the mountain or in the park.
Viewers reached out to the Explore.org team, who were able to contact the National Park Service.
One of the page admins told netizens who alerted them to the situation: “Thank you to the viewers for letting us know. Explore is aware and can contact Katmai. They are also following the photos.”
“The park sent a search team to find the climber, who was rescued in poor visibility conditions due to wind and rain,” National Park Service spokeswoman Cynthia Hernandez said in a statement to the BBC.
The climber was found by park rangers at 6:48 pm local time, who was “uninjured and returned to safety.”
The number of bear cam viewers in Alaska increases on the eve of Fat Bear Week, which this year takes place in early October.
Fat Bear Week is a popular online competition organized by Katmai National Park that crowns the bear as the greediest bear of all time, as the animals feed on salmon before hibernating.
With seven cameras located throughout the park, it is common for people to set up fishing spots.
But the rescued climber was lucky to have people watching the alpine tundra from Mount Dumpling, a lesser-known area that was shrouded in fog when he called for help.
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