Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Scout attacked by Bear
Scout attacked by Bear
James A Lindberg
Tue, 10 Aug 1999 08:21:42 -0500
Boy attacked by bear at Scout camp
SHELL LAKE, Wis. (AP) - A black bear attacked a 14-year-old boy at a
Scout camp, dragging him into the woods and injuring him before his
father drove the animal off by pelting him with rocks and wood.
Matthew Murphy, 14, had bite wounds to his head and shoulder area and
was in serious condition at a hospital after Monday's attack. He is
expected to make a full recovery, the family said.
A search was on for the bear, which will be destroyed if found.
The boy was attacked at 6:30 a.m. Monday at the Tomahawk Scout
Reservation on Long Lake in northwestern Wisconsin.
The bear dragged both boy and tent into the woods. The boy's father,
Anthony Murphy, threw a rock at the bear, which ran off but then came
The father then threw a block of wood at the bear, and it climbed
up a tree, allowing the the boy to be rescued from the tent.
Candy wrappers were found in the tent, but officials did not know if
that was related to the attack.
Ken Jonas, the wildlife biologist investigating the attack, said the
incident was peculiar: "We normally don't get bears that attack
and certainly not in this manner."
Wildlife wardens on Monday patrolled the camp to protect the 800
campers, many from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Camp fires were also lit
The camp has gotten about 40 calls from concerned parents, but no
requests to pull children from the camp, said Jeff Sulzbach, director
for Tomahawk Scout Reservation.
Bear populations have increased to about 14,000 in Wisconsin, from
5,850 estimated to be in the state in 1985.
(Copyright 1999 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)