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'Help, something's dragging me'

Discussion in 'News & Events' started by Hails, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Hails

    Hails Well-Known Member

    June 19, 2007 11:12am
    WILDLIFE officers have shot and killed a bear they believe snatched an 11-year-old boy from his family's tent and killed him.

    AP reported the boy, his mother, stepfather and six-year-old brother were camping in American Fork Canyon about 50km southeast of Salt Lake City for Father's Day when the bear approached the boy who was sleeping alone in a separate section of the tent.

    During the night, the boy's stepfather heard him scream "something's dragging me". He ran outside but there was no sign of the boy or his sleeping bag.

    US Forest Service officers told AP the cut in the nylon tent was so clean the boy's family believed he must have been abducted. They searched frantically without a flashlight for the boy before driving to another campground to call for help.

    "He was pounding on my trailer door. He said somebody cut his tent and took his son,'' John Sheely, host of the Timpooneke campground, who alerted authorities by driving down the canyon to a pay phone told AP.

    Police blocked off all entrances to the canyon and began checking vehicles.

    The boy's body was found 350 meters from the tent, close to another campsite where a bear sighting had been reported earlier in the weekend, sheriff's Lt. Dennis Harris told AP.

    The bear, described as male, possibly 136 kilograms and "jet black" was pursued by hunters from the campsite using 26 tracking dogs and a helicopter.

    After being wounded early in the day, the bear was confirmed dead on Monday morning (local time) near the area where the boy was killed, Lt. Scott White of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said.

    An autopsy has confirmed the bear shot was the killer.

    It is not known what provoked the bear, though wildlife experts say they can smell food for miles.

    "When it's hot and dry like this, bears are short of food,'' Utah Division of Wildlife Resources director Jim Karpowitz told AP.