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Bear Attack

A 78-year-old man was attacked by a bear in southeastern Utah early on Aug. 28. The man is in stable condition after being flown to a hospital. The 78-year-old man was attacked by a black bear at 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 28 in a remote canyon in southeastern Utah. The bear punctured the man's torso and right arm and left scratches on his left arm. He was listed in stable condition after being airlifted to a hospital.

Nine members of a family and four river-running guides were rafting on the Green River in Desolation Canyon, an extremely remote area east of Sunnyside. They stopped to camp at an area called Rock Creek Ranch. The area is private property. It's located at river mile 53.5 in the canyon. At about 6 or 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, a bear came into their camp. A member of the group had a gun. They tried to chase the bear off, and then fired a warning shot in the air. The bear ran up a nearby hillside and out of their view. Later, the group went to bed. Some were sleeping inside tents and others were sleeping on cots.

At about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 28, the bear returned. The family awoke to the bear attacking their 78-year-old father, who was sleeping on a cot. One of his daughters jumped on the bear and started hitting it with her fists. After a struggle, and with the help of other family members, they pulled the bear off of their father. At that point, one of the father's grandsons shot the bear in the back. The animal ran off. Family members found it dead this morning. DWR personnel will retrieve the dead bear.

The injured man was flown out of the canyon at 4 a.m. by a LifeFlight helicopter. There's also a landing strip near the area. The remaining members of the family were flown out of the area in an airplane.

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