Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials said Tuesday morning that they located and killed the black bear that bit a boy on the head on Friday, Aug. 9 near Dewey. Division officials said they located the bear within a mile of the original incident later the same day.
Officials said the bear they found matched the size, color and tracks of the bear involved in the original incident and also matched photos taken of a bear in the same area earlier in the week.
On Monday, officials did a necropsy, an autopsy for animals, to test the bear, including for rabies. Officials said that the results would not be available until later in the week.
Per state policy, bears that do not exhibit a fear of humans must be euthanized. Since 2014, the Division said it had recorded 255 reports of bear incidents that required action from the Division. In fewer than 20% of those cases did officials kill the animals.
“The majority of the time, we relocate black bears when there are nuisance situations where a black bear is getting into trash or food,” said Darren DeBloois, mammals coordinator for the Division. “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.
“We got into the wildlife profession because we love wildlife, and we enjoy managing and protecting animals so Utahns can get outdoors and enjoy them.”
The bear attack on Friday involved a 13-year-old victim, who was camping with a group at the Dewey Bridge Campground at the time. He was sleeping on the ground near a riverside pavilion when the bear bit him around 5:45 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the Division.
The bear injured the teen’s left cheek and left ear. He was taken to the hospital and was treated and released. Officials said he is expected to make a full recovery. See the original story for more information on that incident.
Note: This story has been edited to more accurately represent how the bear died. Information about when the bear was killed and dissected has also been added.