DWR: Boy, 13, bitten by bear while sleeping at eastern Utah campground

This 2007 file photo shows a juvenile black bear unrelated to the bear attack in Utah. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Tom Bergman

GRAND COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A boy was bitten by a bear while sleeping at a Grand County campground early Friday morning.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said the attack happened at about 5:45 a.m. in the Dewey Bridge Campground, northeast of Moab and near the Colorado River.

“The 13-year-old victim was bitten while sleeping,” a DWR statement says. “The young man was injured on his right cheek and his right ear.

“The victim went to the emergency room in Moab and was then transported by ambulance to a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado. He has been treated and released.”

The boy, said to be from Colorado, told officials the black bear was about his size, which means it was likely a juvenile. The statement did not say if the boy was sleeping in a tent or under the stars.

The DWR statement said it learned of the attack at 7 a.m. Friday, and is coordinating with USDA-Wildlife Services to track and capture the bear.

This photo shows two sets of footprints spotted by crews investigating the black bear attack at the Dewey Bridge Campground, near Moab, on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Photo: DWR

“The bear was last seen heading towards the Colorado River,” the statement says.

“The DWR and WS have located bear tracks and have attempted to capture the bear with dogs. They will also be setting multiple traps in the area.”

If found, the bear will be euthanized since it attacked a human, in keeping with protocol. The agency will work to find the bear until it has exhausted all its options, the statement said.

The campground has been closed for the time being, the statement says. A DWR employee remains on site to “to warn anyone who may land a raft at the boat ramp.”

To see wildlife safety guidelines when in bear country, click here.


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