Mother and children hide from bear inside RV on campout

Posted at 4:50 PM, Sep 01, 2014

PRICE, Utah -- A woman and her children had a close encounter with a black bear this Labor Day weekend, while camping at near the Book Cliffs, a popular campsite south of Price. The family barricaded themselves inside a camper as the six-foot bear tried to claw its way inside.

Sami Graham of Heber City was putting her kids to bed in the camper, when she heard a light tap on the door.

“It kind of sounded like a human knock, so I opened the door. I didn’t see anything at that point, but I got a little nervous,” said Graham.

A few minutes later she heard a violent scratch on the RV.

“I went over to my kitchen window and pulled up my blinds and looked out. I had to put my face pretty close to the window and there he was face-to-face with me.”

When Graham’s husband came back from a deer hunt, he tried to run the bear out of the camp and eventually fired a few shots to scare it off.

Bear experts say that, this time of year, bears are looking for anything that looks or smells like food.

“They usually don’t just go around knocking on campsites to say, ‘hello,’ ” said Stephanie Natt with Wild Aware Utah. “There could have been something attracting him there, something in the fire, pit, something still on the picnic table, maybe cooking and the smell carried—something brought that bear there.”

Natt also stressed the importance of keeping a clean campsite. According to the Division of Wildlife Resources, the campgrounds around the Book Cliffs are known as bear country, and with more people out this Labor Day weekend, they said it’s important that people stay bear aware.