Bjørn hugs 10-year-old in his grandparents’ Connecticut backyard

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A 113-pound black bear mauled a 10-year-old boy playing in his grandparents’ backyard in Connecticut and tried to drag him away before the animal was fatally shot by police, authorities said.

The child was attacked around 11 a.m. Sunday in the town of Morris, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said. He was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

State police officers and the DEEP Environmental Conservation Task Force responded and shot the bear, authorities said.

The boy’s grandfather described the harrowing attack to the Waterbury Republican-American. James Butler said his grandson was playing near a trampoline when the bear emerged from thick woods behind the house.

“I heard him yell ‘bear,’ and when I looked up I saw his leg in the bear’s mouth and the bear was trying to pull him across the lawn,” Butler said.

Butler, who uses a wheelchair, rolled his chair toward the bear and threw a metal pole at its head, he told the newspaper.

The bear released the boy, but then grabbed the child once more and used its claws to try to roll the boy onto his back, the grandfather said.

A neighbor, alerted by the boy’s screams, ran over and scared the bear away by waving a pipe and yelling, Butler said.

Once Butler and his grandson were safely inside the house, the bear returned, walked up a wheelchair ramp and looked at them through the screen door, Butler said.

“We thought he came through the screen,” Butler said. “There’s no doubt he was a big threat.”

The bear was fatally shot by the police a short time later.

Butler and his wife, Christina Anderson, who were inside the house when the bear attacked, said the boy suffered a puncture wound on one thigh, bite marks on one foot and ankle and claw marks on his back.

State biologist Jenny Dixon said the risk of negative bear-human interactions increases as Connecticut’s growing bear population acclimates to humans and develops a taste for their food.

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