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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 20:33 GMT 21:33 UK
Boy beats off angry bear
A troubled teenager who went to confront his personal demons in the Alaskan wilderness is recovering after defeating a far heavier and hairier foe.

Grizzly bear
Unarmed humans rarely come off best against bears

The 15-year-old American boy was woken up by a 400-pound bear that had entered the campsite for emotionally-troubled youths.

When the boy tried to leave his tent, the bear bit him on the arm, Alaska policeman Adam Benson told the Associated Press news agency.

According to Mr Benson, the boy then decided to fight back.

He delivered several punches to the bear, using his uninjured arm. But when he attempted to flee the animal for the second time, it bit him again, now leaving puncture wounds below the ribs.

I think he is the biggest, baddest thing in the woods. He punched the bear
Steve Prysunka

Once again, the boy attacked the bear with his fists.

Momentarily punch-drunk, the beast relinquished its hold.

The boy swiftly made his exit, pursued by the bear.

Bearing up

He finally managed to raise the alarm by blowing an air-horn and waking up the others, according to Steve Prysunka, the director of the "Crossing Wilderness Expeditions for Youth" programme.

The animal eventually left after being sprayed with pepper gas and having a flare fired at its feet, Mr Prysunka said.

He also asked media not to reveal the boy's identity.

The boy was treated at a hospital, then taken home to allow his wounds to heal.

The bear was hunted down and killed by officials at the campsite on Deer Island in Alaska.




SEE ALSO:
Bear kills campaigner in Alaska
08 Oct 03  |  Americas
Grizzlies back to the wild
17 Nov 00  |  Americas


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