Bear attacks 7-year-old boy in his suburban New York backyard

BEDFORD, N.Y. (AP) — A black bear attacked a 7-year-old boy outside his family's home in suburban New York, sending the child to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, officials said.

The attack happened shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday outside a home in Bedford, about 45 miles northeast of New York City.

North Castle Police Chief Peter Simonsen told News 12 Westchester that the child was playing in his backyard with a sibling when the bear attacked. The boy's parents quickly rescued their son, said Simonsen, who called the response “extremely brave.”

Carlos Cano, the chief of the Armonk Fire Department, told The New York Times that the boy's mother, a doctor, had bandaged him by the time emergency workers arrived. The boy was hospitalized.

The bear stayed in the area and continued to present a danger, the North Castle police said in a news release. An officer shot the bear, and it was taken away to be tested for rabies.

Officials say bear populations are increasing in New York state, but attacks on humans are rare.

At least three people have been attacked by bears in neighboring Connecticut in the past year, including a 10-year-old boy who was mauled by one in his grandparents' backyard October 2022.