Bear attacks Boca boy in TN - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Bear attacks Boca boy in TN

By Juan Carlos Fanjul email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - "I had warned them prior to going, that was my irrational fear for the whole trip, specifically bears, Yes," said Kelly Pala of Boca Raton who's motherly intuition turned out to be right.

It all became crystal clear when she got a call no parent could imagine: "I said what happened? He said Evan got attacked by a bear. Of course your first thought is oh my gosh!"

"The bear just jumped on me," said Evan Pala. The 8-year-old boy recounted his life and death battle with a bear as he showed scars on his arms, head and back. Evan, his 10-year-old brother, Alex, and father, John, were sight seeing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee Monday evening when an 86 pound young black bear came out of the woods and attacked Evan. "It was holding me to the ground; my teeth hit a rock. I ran away, but, then, tripped. He started tackling me again," said Evan.

Like a bear would protect it's young, Dad jumped in, at one point getting in between them. "I grabbed the bear by the face, pushed him to the side. I said 'Run Evan, run Evan'. The bear got him again," said John Pala.

Even older brother, Alex, helped dad throw sticks and stones at the out of control bear, which after a second attack on Evan, decided to leave him alone. Park Rangers found the bear and killed it. As for Evan, he got 35 stitches but was released after just a few hours at the hospital.

Fox 29's Juan Carlos Fanjul asked Kelly Pala: "If Evan says he wants to go camping again what would you say?"

She replied: "Absolutely not, not till he's quite older."

The boys and their father return back to the area Thursday.

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