Authorities said a 250-pound black bear crushed a 10-year-old boy playing in his grandparents’ backyard in Connecticut and tried to pull the animal over before fatally shooting it.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the child was attacked around 11 a.m. Sunday in the city of Morris. He was taken to the hospital for treatment for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Officials said the state police and DEEP’s Environmental Protection Force officials retaliated and shot the bear.
The boy’s grandfather describes the attack on Republican-Americans from Waterbury. James Butler said his grandson was playing near a trampoline when the bear came out of the forest behind the house.
Butler said, “I heard him shouting ‘bear’ and when I looked up, I saw his foot in the bear’s mouth and the bear was trying to drag him across the lawn.”
Butler, who uses a wheelchair, turned his chair towards the bear and threw a metal bar at his head, he told the newspaper.
The grandfather said that the bear released the boy, but then grabbed the child a second time and tried to turn the boy on his back using his claws.
Butler said a neighbor, alerted to the boy’s screams, ran and scared the bear with a pipe and screams.
Once Butler and his grandson were safely inside the house, Bear returned, walking up the wheelchair ramp and watching them through a screen door, Butler said.
“We thought he was coming through the screen,” Butler said. “No doubt he was a big threat.”
After some time the police killed the bear badly.
Butler and his wife, Christina Anderson, who were inside the house at the time of the bear attack, said the boy had a puncture wound in a thigh, a bite mark on his leg, and ankle and claw marks on his back.
State biologist Jenny Dixon said the risk of negative bear-human interactions is increasing as Connecticut’s growing bear population gets used to humans and develops a taste for their food.
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According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, black bears are becoming increasingly common in Connecticut as the population continues to grow and grow. In 2019, around 7,300 bear sightings from 150 of the state’s 169 cities were reported to the agency’s wildlife department.