A New York Boy Scout reportedly said he woke up with a bear’s mouth over his leg while on a camping trip in Harriman State Park in early May.
The 12-year-old, Henry Ayers, was out camping at the Tom Jones Shelter with his Boy Scout troop when a black bear came looking for food and discovered the troop’s campsite, ABC 7 New York reported Monday. (RELATED: Couple Gets Into Brawl With Bear Inside Their Home As Kids Sleep, Forced To Use Knife And Gun)
“Be Prepared” may be the motto for the Boy Scouts, but a 12-year-old from New York was anything but prepared for the encounter he had while on a recent camping trip — one that saw his leg end up in the jaws of a black bear. https://t.co/35VZOD5PlK
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) May 24, 2022
The bear wandered around their campsite in search of human food, but the troop properly hid its supplies for such situations, Scoutmaster Diana Nicols said, according to ABC 7 New York. However, Ayers said that he left some food in his sleeping bag, which he thought attracted the bear, the outlet reported.
“It was absolutely crazy!” Ayers said, according to NBC New York. “I mainly sat up and I screamed! There was a giant bear leaning right over me. I screamed and I kicked at it and it wandered back a little.”
Ayers, who said the bear “grabbed” his leg and bit him, only sustained minor injuries in the incident, and his troop spent the rest of the night at a nearby shelter, according to NBC New York. The bear reportedly came back looking for food again.
Park officials were later able to capture the bear and, due to state rules, it had to be euthanized, the outlet reported.
“I wish they didn’t euthanize it,” Ayers said, according to NBC New York. “It associated us with food. But we know that was our fault not the bear’s fault. It was just you know, being a bear.”
The Boy Scout reportedly added that he is not scared of camping or bears and that he looks forward to camping again.