Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Black Bear Attacks 2 Children at N.J. Campsite
SUSSEX COUNTY, N.J. — Two young campers suffered minor injuries Wednesday morning after they were attacked by a black bear that slipped into their campsite at a New Jersey park, officials with the state's Department of Environmental Protection said.
According to authorities, the attack happened in Stokes State Forest in northern Sussex County.
The victims, an 11-year-old Brooklyn boy and a 12-year-old Jersey City boy, were asleep inside their tents when the yearling bear entered their campground sometime after 5 a.m.
Officials say one child was scratched on the shoulder while the other child suffered a puncture wound on his foot. Both children were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
A responding State wildlife technician shot the bear near the campsite, wounding the animal in the neck, officials said.
The injured bear subsequently fled into the adjacent woods and is being tracked by conservation officers and the Department of Environmental Protection's bear response team, aided by a blood sniffing dog. Snares and traps also are being set in the wooded area.
The boys were part of a larger camping group that were lodged in several tents in the Gren Anderson section of Stokes State Forest, officials said. No other injuries were reported.
The attack has prompted the DEP to close sections of the Appalachian Trail and intersecting hiking trails that run through Stokes State Forest, until further notice, officials announced Wednesday afternoon.
According to records, this is the first reported instance of a black bear attack against humans in New Jersey this year.