MORRIS, Connecticut — A 250-pound (113-kilogram) black bear mauled a 10-year-old boy playing in his grandparents’ backyard in Connecticut and tried to drag him away before the animal was fatally shot by police, authorities said.
The child was attacked around 11 a.m. Sunday in the city of Morris, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said. He was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
State police officers and DEEP’s Environmental Conservation Task Force responded and shot the bear, authorities said.
The boy’s grandfather described the harrowing attack to the Waterbury Republican. James Butler said his grandson was playing near the trampoline when the bear came out of the thick woods behind the house.
“I heard him yell ‘bear’ and when I looked up I saw his foot in the bear’s mouth and the bear trying to drag him across the lawn,” Butler said.
Butler, who uses a wheelchair, pushed his chair toward the bear and threw a metal bar at its head, he told the newspaper.
The bear let go of the boy, but then grabbed the child a second time and tried to flip the boy onto his back with his claws, the grandfather said.
A neighbor, alerted by the boy’s screams, ran up and scared the bear away by waving a pipe and yelling, Butler said.
Once Butler and his grandson were safely inside the home, the bear returned, walking up the wheelchair ramp and looking at them through the screen door, Butler said.
“We thought it was coming through the screen,” Butler said. “There’s no doubt he was a huge threat.”
A short time later, the police fatally shot the bear.
Butler and his wife, Christina Anderson, who was in the home when the bear attacked, said the boy suffered a puncture wound on one thigh, bite marks on his foot and ankle and claw marks on his back.
State biologist Jenny Dixon said the risk of negative bear-human interactions increases as Connecticut’s growing bear population becomes accustomed to humans and develops a taste for their food.
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