WILDLIFE

Bear euthanized after scratching a tent and a boy on a scouting trip

Jun 18, 2019, 12:08 PM | Updated: 3:06 pm
bear hobble creek boy scout...
This photo, shared by DWR spokesperson Faith Jolley on Twitter, shows the scratches the bear gouged into the boy's tent.

SPRINGVILLE — Utah wildlife officials say they had to euthanize a black bear after the animal scratched a Boy Scout tent, ripping its screen and leaving claw marks on the back of a boy inside.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokeswoman Faith Jolley says the boy did not require medical attention and will be OK.

In a series of tweets, Jolley said the two-year-old male bear wandered into the Boy Scout camp and scratched a tent that was set up slightly apart from the others, in a stand of trees.

The bear’s claws ripped the screen door and left marks on the boy’s back, but Jolley said it did not break the skin.

According to Jolley, scout leaders then drove down the canyon to report what happened to DWR officials in Springville, who responded with the help of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and some tracking dogs. Those dogs tracked the bear and treed it about 400 feet from the boy’s tent. It was put down, per department policy.

“Anytime a bear injures a human or loses fear of people, it is euthanized as a safety precaution,” Jolley tweeted. “We are very happy the boy is OK and the bear was quickly found.”

It wasn’t clear what led to the bear clawing the tent, but Jolley says it’s an important reminder that we do live in bear country. At this time of year, she said many bears are just starting to awaken from hibernation and may be looking for food.

hobble creek canyon bear

Hobble Creek Canyon is east of Springville in Utah County. Photo: Google Maps

She also gave credit to the boy’s scout leaders, whom she said followed all the recommendations for safe camping in bear country, including making sure there were no food or scented items in any of the tents.

Hobble Creek is about 50 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, in the mountains east of Springville in Utah County.

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Bear euthanized after scratching a tent and a boy on a scouting trip