MOAB — A 13-year-old boy was bitten by a bear early Friday morning while camping near Moab, officials said.
The bear attacked the boy about 5:45 a.m. while he was sleeping in a sleeping bag at Dewey Bridge Campground, along the Colorado River, Utah Division of Wildlife Resource officials said.
He was injured on his left cheek and left ear, officials said. The boy was first taken to an emergency room in Moab then transported to a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, where he was treated and released.
The boy, who is a Colorado resident, told officials the bear was about his size.
DWR received the report about 7 a.m. Friday and was working with United States Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services to track and capture the bear, which would be euthanized, officials said.
Anytime a bear attacks a human, the animal is euthanized, DWR officials said.
The campground was closed and warning signs were displayed in the area, officials said. An official will also remain in the area to warn people who may land at the boat ramp.
Officials noted Utah is black bear country and advised hikers to carry bear spray and use it if they encounter a bear.
To avoid black bears while camping, it’s important to clean up trash and use bear-proof dumpsters if available, DWR advises on its website.
Bears are also more active at dawn and dusk, according to DWR.
Editor's note: Division of Wildlife Resources officials initially said the boy was injured on the right side of his face, but later clarified that he was injured on the left side. This story has been updated to correct that information.