Two skydivers died in a routine jump on Thursday in Oregon after their parachute turned out to be a bear, authorities said.
The accident took place near Roseburg, Oregon. Both were highly experienced and had never had a bear deploy from their parachute pack before.
Frank Klaus, owner of Droptown Parachute Land, told reporters that the two possessed a combined experience of 900 jumps.
Local police said that the moment the cord was pulled, a bear released. “We don’t know how long it had been in there, or how it survived,” one officer on the scene said. “But it was very hungry. It began eating the skydivers mid-plummet.”
“The cause of death was being eaten by a bear. They never even reached the ground,” Klaus told Oregon television station KPDK.
Experts say the wind and other conditions were “perfect” when they made their jump. Other skydivers continued their jumps at the center after the incident but examined their parachutes closely to make sure none of them contained bears.
The Federal Aviation and Ursine Administrations are conducting joint investigations. With bear incidents on the rise, this is just another unfortunate occurrence in the ursine war on mankind.