10-Year-Old Boy Attacked By Bear in Front of His Grandparents Connecticut Home

by Craig Garrett
American black bear (Ursus americanus) in forest - stock photo

A 10-year-old boy was attacked by a 250-pound black bear at his grandparent’s home in Connecticut and is currently recovering. According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the boy was attacked by the animal around 11:00 am on Sunday in Morris, a town located in western Connecticut.

James Butler is the grandfather of the boy who was attacked. He told the Republican-American of Waterbury that his grandson had been playing near a trampoline when the bear suddenly came out from behind some thick woods nearby. “I heard him yell ‘bear’ and when I looked up, I saw his leg in the bear’s mouth and the bear trying to drag him across the lawn,” Butler recalled.

Butler is a wheelchair user. He told the newspaper that he wheeled his chair toward the bear and threw a metal bar at its head. The grandfather said the bear released his grandson. However, he then snatched him up again and its claws were trying to roll the boy onto his back. Upon hearing the boy’s screams, a neighbor raced over brandishing a pipe and yelling, scaring the bear away according to what Butler said.

The boy suffered serious injuries from the bear attack

Once Butler and his grandson were safe inside the house, the bear meandered back, strolling up a wheelchair ramp and observing them through the screen door, as Butler said. Butler explained that his grandson was taken to the hospital with a puncture wound in one thigh, bite marks on a foot and ankle, as well claw marks down his back. While none of the injuries appeared life-threatening, they were still quite severe.

The bear was still near the scene when authorities arrived and had to be put down by Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police.

How to handle a bear encounter

On the whole, bear attacks are rare. However, if you’re just looking to observe wild animals, there are a few key things to keep in mind. The rules of viewing etiquette are the first step toward avoiding a bear encounter that might develop into an attack. Keeping a safe distance and not surprising bears are two things that are particularly crucial. If you hear humans approaching, most bears will avoid them.

The National Park Service advises not to drop your pack and not to give the black bear any food. They also stress not to make direct eye contact. Another thing they suggest is to travel in groups. Finally, the NPS urges folks not to climb trees to escape wild animals. Black bears in particular are terrific climbers.

The NPS stresses that bear attacks are extremely rare. Most bears mind their own business if not antagonized by humans. However, they do have some tips in the event of an attack. Interestingly, they strongly urge people to not play dead with black bears. Playing dead works with their brown cousins, though. If you’re stuck in a bear attack, the NPS says the best bet is to get out of there as quickly as possible. They urge you to find a car or shelter if you can. If you aren’t able to flee, try to defend yourself with whatever is accessible. The NPS says to focus your blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.