SPRINGVILLE, Utah – A black bear that bit a sleeping Boy Scout through the wall of his tent was shot after it later returned to the camp, authorities said.
Colton Stewart, 14, woke up early Wednesday to a burning sensation in his upper arm, then realized it was a bear biting his arm through the tent, state wildlife officials said. He pulled away and heard the bear run off through the brush.
"It wasn't biting viciously. They put their mouth on things to see what they taste like," said Anis Aoude, regional wildlife manager for the state Division of Wildlife Resources. "In this case, there just happened to be a kid's arm on the other side of the tent."
The bite was not serious, but camp officials notified the state, which sent a game warden to the Adventure Park Scout Camp in central Utah.
That evening, as barbecued ribs were being prepared for the 90 Scouts, the 2- to 3-year-old female bear wandered back into the area, DWR Central Region Supervisor John Fairchild said.
"It wasn't afraid of anybody," Fairchild said. "It paralleled the camp, and the conservation officer waited for the bear to get away from the people in a safe area before he shot it."
The bear had apparently become habituated to eating human food and had lost its fear of people, making it dangerous so close to the camp.