An armed 11-year-old boy in Alaska saved his family last week from what could have been a gruesome bear attack.
On June 18, Elliot Clark, 11, was walking with three family members and three dogs in the woods several miles south of Hoonah, Alaska, when a brown bear suddenly emerged from the trees, charging the family, reported the Juneau Empire newspaper on Friday. The group was headed toward a nearby fishing hole.
“There was four of them in a line … my son was third,” said Lucas Clark, Elliot’s father, to the Juneau Empire. “The bear came down the trail at them, fella in the front, who was his uncle, the bear was on him so quickly that he didn’t have time to take his rifle off his shoulder.”
The two others were knocked over by the bear, leaving Elliot as the only member of the party still standing. He took the pump-action shotgun off his shoulder and fired at the bear.
“His first shot was a light load of birdshot,” Lucas Clark said. “That first shot hit him in the shoulder and did absolutely nothing. The next shot hit him in the nose and traveled down through the neck.”
The Juneau Empire reports Elliot Clark then fired a third shot into the bear’s shoulder and back, causing the bear to fall to the ground.
“The bear was so close when Elliot hit it with his third shot, there were powder burns on the bear’s mouth,” the Juneau Empire said, citing a report from the Alaska State Troopers and Lucas Clark.
“As the bear slid past him and came to a stop, [Elliot] put a kill shot it him,” Lucas Clark said.
Bear attacks such as the one Elliot Clark saved his family from are relatively common in Alaska compared to the rest of the nation. Over the past two weeks, there have been four reported maulings in Alaska, according to a report by ABC News, which also reported a black bear broke into an 11-year-old boy’s Anchorage, Alaska, bedroom on Monday by smashing through the boy’s window. The black bear ran off without causing any harm to the boy or other members of the household.