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Bear bites sleeping child in the face at Utah campground

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FILE PHOTO: Bear bites sleeping child in the face at Utah campground. (File photo: KUTV)

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – A 13-year-old boy is recovering from injuries to his face after a bear bit him while he was sleeping Friday morning, according to Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) spokesperson Mark Hadley.

The attack happened at the Dewey Bridge Campground, along the Colorado River in Grand County around 5:45 a.m.

According to Hadley, the boy was bitten on the cheek and left ear.

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The boy was taken to the emergency room in Moab, then transported to a hospital in Grand Junction, Colo. He was treated and released and is expected to be okay.

The boy told DWR officials the bear was about his size, meaning it was a smaller bear.

DWR is coordinating with USDA-Wildlife Services (WS) to track and capture the bear, which was last seen heading toward the Colorado River. Bear tracks were located near the river and officials are trying to capture the bear with dogs.

It's unclear how long the search for the bear will go on, but Hadley says DWR and WS will work to find it until they’ve exhausted all their options. Because it attacked a human, once the bear is found it will be euthanized.

Hadley says DWR will provide updates as they become available.

For bear safety tips, visit the DWR website: https://wildlife.utah.gov/living-with-bears.

The story has been updated to reflect new information: the boy was bit on his left ear, not right ear as originally reported.