Bear Pulls Boy Scout Leader in Cave by Foot; Scouts Get Help

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

3 Boy Scouts Help Scoutmaster Survive a Bear Attack in New Jersey.

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A Boy Scout leader was pulled into a cave by a bear in northern New Jersey but beat the animal away with a rock hammer while the three Scouts with him called for help, authorities said. ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP — Three Boy Scouts played a major role in rescuing their scoutmaster on Sunday following a bear attack in a cave at Splitrock Reservoir in Rockaway Township, according to authorities.State wildlife officials say they’ve pulled traps put in place after a black bear attacked a 50-year-old man Sunday because they don’t believe it poses a threat to public safety or property.File photo ROCKAWAY – State wildlife officials say they’ve pulled traps put in place after a black bear attacked a 50-year-old man leading three boys on a hike Sunday because they don’t believe it poses a threat to public safety. Christopher Petronino, 50, and the Scouts were hiking at Split Rock Reservoir on Sunday afternoon when he stopped to show the boys a cave, NJ.com reported. Here are some must-know facts about the state’s largest land mammal. (Video by Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) Dave Chanda, the director of the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, said the boys likely saved the life of Christopher Petronino from Boonton Township.

The scouts “had cell phone service from where they were” and placed the 911 call that resulted in Petronino getting medical attention, noted Rockaway Township Police Lt. He reacted by hitting the bear’s head twice with a hammer before pulling his sweatshirt over his own head and curling into the fetal position, according to a statement from the DEP. The boys, at the instruction of Petronino, attempted to draw the bear out of the cave by placing any food they had outside of the cave, officials said.

A dog that was with the hikers barked at the bear. “PD is requesting more manpower at the location with the victim,” a dispatcher said, according to CBS New York. “Apparently they’re up on like a rock ledge. They probably saved the gentleman’s life.” The boys are scouts with Troop 69 out of Boonton Township, and Petronino is a Scout leader, but the hike was not an official Boy Scout outing, police and DEP officials said. They’re going to need assistance getting him down.” Petronino was transported to Morristown Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to NJ.com.

They showed great maturity by not panicking and by helping to rescue their scoutmaster.” “They were several miles into the woods, far from any road or access point. If surprising the bear, as Petronino did, the best approach is to fall to the ground and play dead explains The Get Bear Smart Society, an organization that works to “ensure people and bears safely and respectfully coexist.” But if the bear begins to scratch or bite, then it’s time to change plans. Oakes says he grew up in these woods, and he has never seen a bear be aggressive toward humans. “If you see a cave, you should think twice maybe before going in there.

He said it appears the scoutmaster was giving the boys instructions from within the cave and by the time authorities arrived, the bear was gone. “I’m glad it had a happy ending,” Reilly said. “It wasn’t the experience anybody wanted to have, but it came out okay, assuming the man is doing okay physically.” “Thank you for the outpouring of love and support for Chris,” she said. “I especially want to commend the three boys who truly saved my husband’s life because of their quick thinking and brave action. However, he acknowledged the people involved were “members of our scouting family” and said “they remain in our thoughts and prayers” and “we hope for a speedy recovery.” When the extension ended Saturday, hunters had harvested a total of 510 black bears. “We have the densest black bear population in the nation and we also have the most dense human populated state in the nation,” Carole Stamko, of the Bureau of Wildlife Management, said earlier this month. “So when you have those two, it’s a perfect recipe for a human bear conflict, and we’re trying to reduce that as much as we can.”

At this time we request privacy as Chris begins his journey to recovery and there will be no further information provided at this time.” The incident occurred in Bear Management Zone 3, which has an average density of one to two bears per square mile, officials said. Concern over New Jersey’s bear population, which has swelled from fewer than 100 in the 1970s to an estimated 3,500 today, spiked last year after a bear attacked and killed a Rutgers University student who was hiking with friends in the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford.

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