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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KSL) – A Utah family celebrating Father’s Day with a camping trip to Wyoming survived an encounter with a bear thanks to the quick thinking of their 11-year-old son.
It was supposed to be a family fun day of camping but it quickly turned into a nightmare for the Kelly family.
The family made a Father’s Day breakfast and thought they’d cleaned up properly, but a little bit of bacon grease left on the grill attracted the bear to the campground.
“Two staffers came running, yelling that there was a bear,” said Kamila Kelly.
Baden Kelly, 11, saw what was happening and started yelling and waving and got the bear to stop long enough for the family to get into a cabin.
His little sister, Moriah, didn’t move.
“I said, ‘Run, Moriah,’ and she didn’t run, so I got to her and I started running with her, and that’s when the bear started running after us,” Baden said. “By the time it got to about 10 feet behind us, my brother came running really fast out of his cabin and shouted very loudly.”
The heroic actions of the two brothers helped everyone get to safety.
“The moment I saw Moriah being brought up by the staff, it was just such a relief, and she jumped into my arms and said, ‘Baden and Logan saved my life,’ ” Kamila Kelly said.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says with people now flocking to campsites across the state, being “bear aware” is key.
“I’d like to remind people that we do have black bears in the state,” said Mark Hadley with the DWR. That is the only species of bear we have in the Utah, but they’re found across the state.”
If a bear gets food from a campsite even once, it may become aggressive in future attempts — just like the bear that attacked the Kellys’ camp.
“It’s very inspiring to know they made good decisions and protected their sister, and that’s what, as a parent, we’re most thrilled about, is that everybody’s home safe,” said Brandon Kelly, the kids’ father.