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Bear euthanized after boy scratched during Boy Scout campout in Utah County

Posted at 11:06 AM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 19:24:44-04

SPRINGVILLE, Utah - A boy suffered minor cuts after a bear wandered into a campsite in Hobble Creek Canyon Tuesday morning, and wildlife officials have euthanized a bear they believe was responsible.

The bear entered the Buck Hollow Boy Scout Camp in the left fork of Hobble Creek Canyon around 6 a.m.

The campground area is on private property toward the top of the canyon.

“This is definitely a spot we will see black bears,” said Faith Heaton Jolley with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resoures.

"The scratch wasn’t severe," Jolley said. "He’s not going to require stitches, it didn’t sound like. He was not hospitalized or transported."

DWR staff say the small two-year-old male bear was likely just curious of the tent unknowingly placed on an animal trail.

Dogs tracked and treed the bear about 400 yards from the tent where it was euthanized. DWR’s policy is to kill the wild animal after it injures a person.

"It’s always a little sad when you have to put an animal down," said DWR Game Mammals Coordinator Daren DeBloois. "That’s why we encourage people to avoid these conflicts."

Wildlife officials are confident that bear is the one that came to the campsite, and they said it is their policy to euthanize bears that do not demonstrate a fear of humans.

Wild Aware Utah provides tips for avoiding animal encounters and advice for what to do in the case of an attack.Click here for their page on bears and see below for their tips on reacting to a bear encounter:

If You Encounter A Bear

  •  Stand your ground. Never back up, lie down or play dead. Stay calm and give the bear a chance to leave. Prepare to use your bear spray or another deterrent.
  • Don’t run away or climb a tree. Black bears are excellent climbers and can run up to 35 miles per hour—you cannot outclimb or outrun them.
  • Know bear behavior. If a bear stands up, grunts, woofs, moans or makes other sounds, it’s not being aggressive. These are ways a bear gets a better look or smell and expresses its interest.

If A Bear Attacks

  •  Use bear spray. Then leave the area. Studies have shown bear spray to be 92 percent successful in deterring bear attacks.
  • Shoot to kill. If you use a firearm, never fire a warning shot-aim for the center of the bear and keep firing until it is dead. Notify the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources immediately.
  • Always fight back. And never give up! People have successfully defended themselves with almost anything: rocks, sticks, backpacks, water bottles and even their hands and feet.