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Horror of Horrors

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Some tragedies transcend imagination and stun our collective societal psyche.

It happened earlier this week in American Fork Canyon when a black bear, for whatever reason, dragged a sleeping child from a family's tent and mauled him to death. Horror of horrors! What most think happens only in movies occurred at a campsite in a nearby canyon.

KSL joins the broader community in expressing our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Samuel Evan Ives. The 11-year-old Pleasant Grove youth is the only person known to have been killed by a black bear in Utah history.

Though inherently fearsome, black bears normally avoid human contact. Yet, this year a handful of encounters have already been reported in Utah. Wildlife experts say that's not surprising in view of the expanding presence of humans in areas considered natural habitat for wildlife.

Is it cause to stop camping - to stop enjoying Utah's great outdoors? Of course not! Occasionally, nightmarish tragedies occur in nature's domain. For whatever reason, provoked or not, there'll be heartrending encounters with wild animals driven by instinct. Certainly it is cause for caution, but it is not reason to turn away from sensible activities in Utah's great outdoors.

Still, our hearts ache for what happened to Samuel Ives Sunday in American Fork Canyon.

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