Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Utah wildlife officials locate, euthanize bear that bit boy at campground near Moab

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Aug 13th, 2019 @ 11:45am


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MOAB — State wildlife officials have located and euthanized a black bear that bit a 13-year-old boy on the face last week.

The boy, who is from Colorado, was bitten on the left side of his face and left ear about 5:45 a.m. Friday while he was camping at the Dewey Bridge Campground, about 30 miles northeast of Moab, according to a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

He was treated at the hospital and released, and is expected to make a full recovery, DWR said.

DWR conservation officers and biologists found the bear about 6:30 p.m. Friday, according to the release. It was found less than a mile away from the campground and matched the size, color and tracks of the bear that bit the boy, the release said. It also matched pictures taken of a bear that was in the same area earlier in the week.

The Dewey Bridge Campground was closed Friday while conservation officers were searching for the bear, but the campground was reopened Monday, according to the release.

The bear was euthanized and underwent a necropsy, or animal autopsy, for testing, DWR said. The test results of the necropsy will not be available until later this week.

Bears that are no longer afraid of people are euthanized according to Utah state policy, the DWR release states.

“The majority of the time, we relocate black bears when there are nuisance situations where a black bear is getting into trash or food,” DWR mammals coordinator Darren DeBloois said in the release. “We primarily euthanize when it is a matter of public safety. We are so glad this young boy is doing OK, and we are confident we’ve located the bear that was involved in the incident.”

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