A 10-year-old boy is recovering from his injuries after he was attacked by a black bear in Grassy Narrows First Nation.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry says the attack was reported to the Ministry on the evening of July 25, and staff from the Kenora office attended the scene the following morning to conduct their investigation.

They say the 10-year-old was taken to the Lake of the Woods District Hospital for medical attention after the attack, receiving care for his wound before returning home.

Based on statements collected in the community and the nature of the wound, staff say they believe the attack was defensive in nature, as the wound was consistent with claw injuries as opposed to teeth marks.

Later that night, the Ministry says a Grassy Narrows resident dispatched what officers believe to be the same bear, based on witness accounts and descriptions of the bear, which reportedly had a unique colouration on its rear legs. The bear was a roughly 250 lb male black bear.

The Ministry reminds the public that attacks by black bears are extremely rare as they are generally shy and will avoid people, but their staff will be working with the community to deter any future human-bear conflicts.

If a bear poses an immediate threat to public safety by exhibiting threatening or aggressive behaviour, the public should call 911 or local police, MNRF staff added.

Residents should keep their property free from attractants like garbage and bird feeders, and use the Bear Wise program’s toll-free reporting line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week between April and November.