updated 6/27/2005 4:15:49 AM ET 2005-06-27T08:15:49

Two people camping along the Hulahula River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were killed by a grizzly bear, officials said Sunday.

Officials discovered the bodies and an unused firearm in a tent Saturday at a campsite near the river. They also shot and killed the animal.

The couple, whose names were not released, was believed to be in their late 50s or early 60s, North Slope Borough police said. They were from Anchorage and had been on a recreational rafting trip down the river, Alaska State Troopers said.

The victims were in their tent when the attack occurred, according to Tim DeSpain, spokesman for Alaska State Troopers.

The campsite was clean, with food stored in bear-proof containers.

“The initial scene indicates that it was a predatory act by the bear,” DeSpain said.

A rafter had seen the animal at the site and notified authorities.

The couple’s injuries were consistent with a bear attack and there were no signs of foul play, said Kelly Alzaharna, a lieutenant with the North Slope Borough Police Department.

There were no other people at the campsite, which was about 12 miles up river from Kaktovik, a community of about 300 on Barter Island and the only village in the refuge.

Officials are not sure when the couple was killed.

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