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Boy Scout wakes up on camping trip to bear biting his leg: 'I screamed'

A New York Boy Scout troop had a close encounter with a bear in the middle of the night.
A black bear bit a boy scout's leg during a camping trip in New York's Harriman State Park.
A black bear bit a boy scout's leg during a camping trip in New York's Harriman State Park.Diana Nicols/ Facebook

Henry Ayers is one lucky kid.

The 12-year-old New York Boy Scout went on a camping trip with his local troop recently and woke up to find his leg in the mouth of a black bear, NBC New York reported.

It all happened when he visited Harriman State Park with Troop 1254 from Cooperstown in early May.

Ayers said he was sleeping outside with his fellow scouts when he awoke to see a bear, who had apparently been looking for food around their campsite.

“It moved my friend John, and then it moved me — but instead of grabbing my sleeping bag it grabbed my leg and it bit me,” Ayers told NBC New York.

“It was absolutely crazy,” he added. “I mainly sat up and I screamed. There was a giant bear leaning right over me. I screamed and I kicked at it and it wandered back a little.”

The campers ended up moving to a different location. The bear returned to their campsite at least one more time looking for food.

In a post on Facebook, the scoutmaster, Diana Nicols, said that she was prepared to use bear spray if the animal got too close to the campers when it returned. But it kept its distance.

"Scoutmaster David Zimba and I told it not to mess with any of our cubs," she said on Facebook.

Ayers wasn't seriously injured. He was "lightly bitten" and suffered some scratches and bruises on his leg, Nicols said on Facebook.

After the troops encounter with the bear, the troop continued on their hiking trip as planned.

"The Scouts in our troop are calling it a 'tasting,'” Nicols wrote.

Park officials later found the bear and had to euthanize it, according to state rules.

TODAY reached out to the Boy Scout troop for comment but didn't immediately receive a response.

Ayers told the station he planned to continue camping and wished his bear encounter had a different outcome.

“I wish they didn’t euthanize it,” Ayers told NBC New York. “It associated us with food. But we know that was our fault not the bear’s fault. It was just you know, being a bear.”