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On Sunday, a group of three Boy Scouts saved their leader from the claws of a black bear that mauled the 50-year-old man and pulled him into a cave in Rockaway Township, New Jersey.
Christopher Petronino, the Boy Scout leader, had to keep the bear busy in a corner of the cave for over an hour although he had been injured. In the meantime, the group of boy scouts called 911 and lured the aggressive animal out by throwing food.
The Boy Scout Master provided more details on the horrific experience to the officers at Division of Fish and Wildlife who arranged for him to be transported to a hospital with a helicopter. Doctors reported that he had severe injuries on both his scalp and limb.
As of Sunday night, officials declined to unveil the name of the hospital or the patient’s condition.
The man told rescue crew members that he took the three boys for a walk near Split Rock Reservoir to show them the cave. Petronino has reportedly known the area for more than three decades, but he had encountered no bears there. When he entered the dim-lit cave, the animal grabbed his leg and dragged him farther inside.
In the struggle, the animal mauled his leg and both shoulders. The man recalls that he tried to escape its clutch and hit the beast’s head twice with a hammer. Next, he entered fetal position with his t-shirt over his head.
The boy scouts that were standing outside heard him yelling to run and seek rescue. The boys dialed 911 by using their leader’s phone, but they were not able to provided dispatchers with details on the exact location.
Authorities said that it is surprising that the wounded man managed to stay for so long with the animal inside the cave. The man recalls that he kept his back to the animal and heard it make some huffing noises. He didn’t see any tags on the bear and failed to give an approximate weight.
The scouts placed food at the entrance of the cave, after the man instructed them to do so to buy some extra time. The animal was lured out by the smell, and when the boys’ dog charged, it ran to a nearby hill.
Once the man was free, he contacted 911 dispatchers to provide more details on the location. Officials said that between the first 911 call and the second eighty minutes passed.
Authorities explained the New Jersey bears would rather avoid humans than attack them. But last year, a similar encounter led to the death of a 22-year-old man.
Image Source: Public Domain
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