For the two boys who were awakened when a bear poked around their tents while on a camping trip on Wednesday in New Jersey, the ordeal must have been scary.
Just maybe not as scary as originally reported.
After being examined at a hospital near the Gren Anderson section of the Appalachian Trail where they were camping, the boys’ injuries were determined not to have been caused by the black bear, according to Larry Herrighty, assistant director of the Fish and Wildlife Division. The new information was reported in an article in The New Jersey Herald.
“Hospital officials concluded that the abrasions found on the campers were not consistent with a bear, and were not fresh from that day,” Mr. Herrighty told The Herald. “Based on the findings of the hospital staff, it is concluded the bear did not make the wounds on the children.”
Wednesday’s bear seemed far meaner to the boys, ages 11 and 12, who were on a trip with others from a camp called Trail Blazers. Then, The Star-Ledger wrote that “the bear reached into one tent, grabbed one boy’s foot and tried to pull him out. The bear then went to a second tent, collapsed it and took a swipe at the second boy.”
In the same paper, the story on Thursday was much less grizzly: “Upon further review, the two boys were not injured by the animal at all,” the paper reports. “The marks on their foot and shoulder were scars from an old scrape and a blister. Startled camp counselors made the wrong assumption during all the ruckus.”
The bear was shot on the day of the attack (or was it just a visit?), by fish and game officials, though it was able to escape back into the woods, where it is still at large, according to The Associated Press.
Despite the new information, the bear has not been exonerated. “If we did encounter the bear,” Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection told The Star-Ledger, “we would shoot and kill it.”