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Bear shot dead after attacking 15-year-old in Arizona cabin: "Not many kids can say they got in a fight with a bear"

Man fatally attacked by bear in Arizona
Man fatally attacked by bear in Arizona 00:28

A black bear was shot and killed by Arizona fish and game officers after it entered a home through an open door and injured a teenager in a mountain community near the New Mexico state line, wildlife officials said.

The 15-year-old boy, identified as Brigham Hawkins by his family, received wounds to his face and arm when the bear swiped at him, and he was treated at a hospital after the late Wednesday incident in Alpine, the state Game and Fish Department said.

His mother, Carol Hawkins, told CBS affiliate KPHO-TV in Phoenix that the bear attacked her son while he was alone and watching television.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we think (a bear) would come in the home," she told the station.

Hawkins said her other son heard screams and went to help. Wildlife officials said the bear entered the home a second time before it fled.

"Not many kids can say they got in a fight with a bear and came out on top," Hawkins said in a Facebook post that included a photo showing cuts on her son's nose and arm. Hawkins did not respond to a Facebook message Saturday from The Associated Press.

Wildlife officers found and shot the bear, which the agency said was believed to be about 3 years old and would be tested for disease by department specialists.

"It was thanks to the quick reaction by his brother and his family that they were able to distract the bear from what very easily in a matter of seconds could have turned into a real tragedy there," AZ Game and Fish Department Law Enforcement Supervisor Shawn Wagner told KPHO-TV.

The teen was taken to a local hospital with injuries to his face and arm and has started the rabies vaccine as a precaution but is expected to recover.

"Everybody that came into help him, he had a big thank you and so he's handling it well. And he'll be okay," Carol Hawkins told the station.

The attack was the 16th by bears on people in the state since wildlife officials began keeping records in 1990, including two that were fatal, the department said.

A 66-year-old man was killed almost a year ago when he was attacked at a campsite in the Groom Creek area south of Prescott and about 100 miles north of Phoenix.

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