Bear kills young camper

SLAVE LAKE, Alberta -- A black bear dragged away and killed a 12-year-old boy camping in a tent beside his parents' trailer at a remote northern Canadian campground.

Tom Waddell found his mangled body of his son James early Sunday about 150 feet away from the spot where the boy pitched his tent.


'We got up and found that his tent and all his stuff was gone,' Waddell told The Edmonton Sun. 'The bear grabbed his tent and dragged him off, too. I don't think James knew what hit him.'

The incident occurred at the Marten River provincial campground, 18 miles north of the family's home town of Slave Lake.

Wildlife officers and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers shot and killed the bear after finding it in the vicinity of the body.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer Randy Flath didn't know if the bear killed the boy for food.

'Black bears are omnivorous -- they'll eat anything,' Flath said. 'Black bears have attacked people in this manner but it's really uncommon.'

Waddell said his son never took food into his tent. He said James loved the outdoors and wanted to be a park ranger or naturalist.


Waddell said there had been no bear sightings reported in the area, and had there been, James would not have camped in the tent.

The Waddell's have one other child, daughter Alison, 10.

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