An 11-year-old Brooklyn boy and a 12-year-old child from Jersey City, N.J., were sleeping at a campsite with a youth camping group in Stokes State Forest in northern New Jersey when the young bear entered their campground soon after 5:00am local time, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said.
The animal entered the boys' tents, scratching one child on the shoulder and leaving another with a puncture wound on his foot. Both boys were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
A state wildlife technician who responded to the attack shot the bear near the campsite, wounding the animal in the neck. The bear then fled into the woods and was being tracked by conservation officers and a blood-sniffing dog, the agency said. Officials were also setting snares and traps in the area in an effort to apprehend the animal.
Sections of the Appalachian Trail and intersecting hiking trails running through Stokes State Forest were closed as authorities searched for the bear.
It was the first reported instance of a black bear attack against humans in New Jersey this year, the Department of Environmental Protection said.