Boy, 10, playing in grandparents’ backyard in Connecticut is mauled by 250lb black bear

A 69-year-old grandfather who was in a wheelchair successfully threw a piece of scrap metal at the head of a 250-pound black bear to prevent it from mauling his 10-year-old grandson, authorities said.

An American black bear photographed in 2021 at Waterton Lakes National Park in southwestern Alberta, Canada. The 250-pound black bear that attacked 10-year-old boy in Connecticut on Sunday was described as ‘rogue’

The boy was attacked around 11 a.m. Sunday in the town of Morris, Connecticut, while playing on a trampoline in his grandparents’ yard.

The bear had the boy’s leg in his mouth and was dragging him across the yard when his grandfather, James Butler, turned to disrupt the attack.

After an initial retreat, the bear returned to attack the boy a second time, but this time was confronted by a neighbor who screamed and waved a metal pipe, causing him to fall back down.

The bear then tried to enter the house via Butler’s wheelchair ramp, but was again frightened off by a state agent who had just arrived.

Shortly after, the bear was fatally shot by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in a wooded area near the home.

The boy was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment for injuries, including a stab wound to a thigh, bite marks on his feet and claw marks on his back, his grandparents told the Republican-American of Waterbury.

James Butler witnessed his grandson’s assault at his home in Morris, Connecticut

Butler was doing yard work ten yards from his grandson, who was playing by a trampoline when the bear emerged from dense woods behind the house, he said.

“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 told the Republican American.

After grabbing a piece of a flat metal bar, he tried to roll as close to the bear in his wheelchair as he could, but couldn’t reach it. Instead, he threw the rod at the bear’s head.

The bear let go of the boy, but after stepping back for a moment, he returned to continue his attack, this time trying to roll the child onto his back, Butler told the newspaper.

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The screaming child alerted the attention of a neighbor who entered the yard, screaming and brandishing a metal pipe, causing the bear to run away again.

The boy and his grandparents stayed in the house and the bear came back another time, this time climbing Butler’s wheelchair ramp and coming up to the family’s screen door.

“We thought he was coming through the screen,” Butler told Republican-American.

“He was no doubt a great threat.

An American black bear eats blueberries in the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada in 2021. Connecticut data says the state has a population of between 1,000 and 1,200 black bears, but the numbers are growing rapidly

The boy, 10, was taken to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital for treatment for injuries, including a stab wound to a thigh, bite marks on his foot and ankle and claws on his back

The bear was described by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as a “rogue” male that weighed an estimated 250 pounds.

The bear is now being checked for rabies and other relevant medical conditions, authorities said.

The boy was treated at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

According to Connecticut data, the state has a population of between 1,000 and 1,200 black bears, but the numbers are growing rapidly.

This growing population has sparked debate among residents who report increased sightings and become increasingly concerned about their aggression.

State Senator Craig Miner serves on the state’s Environmental Committee and represents the northwestern portion of Connecticut, where bear-bear interactions are most prevalent.

He was a leading advocate for the legalization of black bear hunting to thwart their population, but was thwarted by animal activists.

In the meantime, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has suggested that people can minimize the chance of an attack by never feeding the bears, taking trash out in the morning and cleaning grills thoroughly.


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