(ROCKAWAY, N.J.) — A Boy Scout leader was injured when he and three scouts were attacked by a black bear while exploring a cave in New Jersey, officials said.
The attack, which occurred at Splitrock Reservoir in Rockaway Township, left the Scout leader with injuries to his neck, arm and head. He was airlifted to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The three children were uninjured, officials said.
Rockaway Township Mayor Mike Dachisen said that when the bear attacked the group in a cave they were exploring, the three scouts ran out and called 911.
The state Department of Environmental Protection was investigating the cause of the attack.
The growing bear population in New Jersey has led to an increasing number close encounters between bears and people, and the state instituted an annual bear hunt in an attempt to reduce the number. This year, 501 bears were killed in the state’s hunt, which is held in early December.
Splitrock Reservoir is a 1500-acre wooded area with a popular 13.8 mile hiking loop.
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