A 10-year-old boy was mauled by a black bear while playing in his grandparents’ garden in the United States.
The animal then attempted to drag the child away before being shot by police officers, Connecticut state officials said.
The boy was injured but survived the ordeal. He was taken to the hospital for treatment for an injured thigh, claw marks on his back and bites on his foot and ankle.
James Butler, the boy’s grandfather, witnessed the attack. He said his nephew was playing near a trampoline when the bear emerged from the thick woods behind his house.
“I heard him scream ‘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 told the Republican-American Waterbury newspaper.
In an attempt to scare the animal, Mr. Butler, who uses a wheelchair, said he threw a metal bar at his head.
The bear initially let go of the boy, but then grabbed him a second time and used his claws to try and roll the boy onto his back.
A neighbor, alerted by the baby’s screams, ran into the garden and managed to scare the bear by brandishing a pipe and screaming, Butler said.
‘A great threat’
After Mr. Butler and the boy are safely back inside, the animal is back, climbing up a wheelchair ramp and peering through the screen door.
“We thought he was going through the screen. No doubt he was a big threat,” he said.
A short time later, state police and officers from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection arrived and shot the bear to death.
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The bear population in Connecticut is growing, according to Jenny Dixon, a state biologist, increasing the risk of dangerous encounters between animals and humans.
Bears are becoming more accustomed to humans, he said, and are developing a taste for their food.
There have been several bear attacks in the United States in recent months.
There was a hunter four days ago overturned and trampled from a grizzly bear in Montana, but managed to escape.
In March a 40-year-old hiker is believed to have died in a suspected attack north of Yellowstone National Park in Montana.