City Desk

Boy Mauled By Bear

Sorry, but during summer vacation season, I am always a sucker for a bear-mauling story. And here's one without a tragic end: Seems an 8-year-old boy got roughed up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by a black bear. The boy sustained some puncture wounds and such but will be just fine. His dad suffered some wounds while defending him and managed to make the bear go away by using sticks and stones.

Then comes the good part, in the comments section. No bear narrative is complete without someone laying bare the utter stupidity of humans in dealing with wildlife, and a case in point lies in this comment:

My cousin got scratched very badly by a similar sized cub on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina about 40 years ago. Back then bears were plentiful and roamed up there.

I still remember it clearly. He had a pack of cookies and was feeding two cubs. There were only a few cookies left and my cousin decided that he was going to save those for himself. I told him that he had better throw those cookies on the ground but he refused and started to eat one. One of the bears reared up on his rear legs and swiped him across the chest and the cookies fell from his hand. We both ran back to the car then. The did not require immediate medical attention but there was a Bruce Lee mark on his chest.

I mean, I didn't think you needed to be an Eagle Scout to know that if you encounter a bear cub in the woods, a very good plan is to turn the other way and make yourself very, very scarce.

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