Boy, 15, Survives Bear Attack in Arizona

Family members ran to help when they heard his screams
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2024 3:34 PM CDT
Boy, 15, Survives Bear Attack in Arizona
Arizona Game & Fish shared this photo of a black bear, saying, "Black bears are predatory animals and should always be considered unpredictable and dangerous."   (Arizona Game and Fish)

"Not many kids can say they got in a fight with a bear and came out on top," says Arizona woman Carol Edington Hawkins, whose 15-year-old son survived an attack last week. In a Facebook post, Hawkins shared photos of her injured son, Brigham, the Arizona Republic reports. She tells NBC News that Brigham was watching YouTube in a cabin on her parents' property in Alpine on Thursday evening when a black bear "walked in through the front door and swiped him across the head." She says Parker, Brigham's 18-year-old brother, heard Brigham's screams and ran over from a second cabin to help.

Hawkins says the bear chased Parker—who initially thought it was a large dog—but he managed to get to the other cabin just in time. She says the bear also chased her husband, Shane, when he ran to Brigham's cabin, but he "slammed the door in the bear's face." Arizona Game and Fish Department officers killed the bear, believed to be a 3-year-old male, at the scene, the Republic reports. Hawkins say the family is saddened by the bear's death but understands that it was acting abnormally and had to be put down. "For whatever reason, there was something wrong with this bear, something was off," she says.

Brigham, who has a rare neurological disorder, was treated for injuries including gashes to his face and arm but is expected to make a full recovery, reports the New York Post. He has been given rabies shots as a precaution. "We're extremely blessed and feel that somebody was most definitely watching over him," Hawkins tells 12News. "He's very small and has lots of medical issues and there was nothing he could have done to chase off this bear or fight off this bear." (More bear attack stories.)

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