During a camping trip with his Boy Scout group, a young boy was injured in Hobble Creek Canyon Tuesday morning after a black bear wandered into his campsite, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
After a few hours of searching, the division found a bear in the area, used dogs to chase it up a tree, and killed it, but officials won’t know if it was guilty until running DNA tests.
“Anytime there is a bear incident that results in human injury, the bear is euthanized," said Faith Heaton Jolley, the public information officer for the division. "Anytime it loses that fear of people, it is euthanized.”
The boy’s tent was about 150 yards away from the rest of his group, and after the bear scratched the tent, the boy made noise scaring the bear from the camp. Jolley said the bear did not seem to be searching out food.
Utah is home to more than 3,000 adult black bears, but most people will never see them. Jolley said this was the first human-bear interaction in 2019 that resulted in human injury and a subsequent bear death. The last time a bear injured a child in the state was 2007.
“Utah is bear country," she said." We are home to black bears, so anytime you are out recreating you are in their area, they are in a natural habitat, so we recommend keeping food bear proof, basically keep your camp clean, make sure you are not doing anything to attract a bear to your area.”
Heaton says the boy scouts had a clean camp and acted properly. The bear was a two-year-old male.