PLEASANT GROVE, Utah The grandfather of a boy killed by a rampaging bear is questioning why warnings about the animal, which
might have attacked another camper earlier, were not posted.
Eldon Ives, whose 11-year-old grandson Samuel Ives was mauled to
death by the black bear, said Tuesday that such a warning from forest
and wildlife officials might have prevented the Sunday night tragedy.
Ives, who held a news conference Tuesday morning on behalf of his
grieving family, referred to an incident earlier Sunday when the same
bear is thought to have ripped into another camper's tent. A man
inside that tent was batted around by the animal, but not injured.
Wildlife officials initially hunted for the bear then, but called
off the search. Hours later, the same bear is believed to have ripped
into the Ives' tent and carried off Samuel. His body was found about
400 yards away shortly thereafter.
"To see another camper's tent rippped almost duplicate to what
happened to our grandson is distressing,'' Eldon Ives said.
He added that the boy's parents had told him that "if they had
known (about the bear) they would not have camped there.''
While saying the family was trying not to place blame or become
bitter, "I do think that the (Timpooneke) campground should have been
closed down, and there should have been given a strong warning to
campers about the potential danger of a bear that had already shown
aggressive behavior toward humans.''
Ives said the tent the family was staying in Sunday night had been
a Father's Day gift from Samuel, his 6-year-old brother and their
The stepfather, mother and younger boy were asleep in one section
of the compartmentalized tent; Samuel was inside a separate
partitioned room of the tent.
Eldon Ives, contradicting wildlife officials' theories for what
attracted the bear, said the Ives were experienced campers and had no
food inside the tent or elsewhere in their campsite. What food they
had was stored in a container inside their car, Ives said.
Specially trained bloodhounds cornered the bear Monday near Mount
Timpanogos and shot it to death. Subsequent tests confirmed the animal
was the same one that had killed Samuel Ives.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.)