A 16-year-old strayed off the course.

16 year old Patrick Cooper was killed by a black bear in a very rare predatory attack during a bike race near Anchorage, Alaska.

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Coooper had abandoned the race at the halfway stage and was making his way back to the start, when he veered off the race course, got lost and encountered a black bear.

Unlike most biker-and-bear incidents the bear did not get spooked away. Nor was it seemingly a defensive attack. The bear attack is being treated as intentional (predatory).

State Fish and Game spokesperson Ken Marsh said: “It’s very unusual. It’s sort of like someone being struck by lightning.”

What makes this attack even more rare is that it was during a race. Race director Brad Precosky: “There’s no safer time to be on a mountain than on a race”.

Cooper made a panicked phone call to his brother stating he was being chased by a bear. Yahoo US reports that Cooper also texted his mother during the incident. His brother alerted the race organisers who then began searching for Cooper.

It took around two hours to find Cooper’s body which was about a mile away from the race course. The bear was still at the scene, guarding the body.

A Park ranger shot the bear, reportedly in the the bear’s face, but the bear ran off away from the scene. State Park officers are still on the lookout for the bear.