Arizona boy recovers from rare bear attack

May 27 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old boy continued to recover on Monday, five days after he was attacked by a black bear in his cabin in Arizona with officials crediting the quick thinking of his family in saving the youth's life.

Carol Hawkins told KTVK/KPHO this weekend that her son Brigham suffered bruises to the face and arms but realized that the situation could have been much worse.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we think [a bear] would come in the home," Hawkins said about the attack that happened Wednesday night at the family cabin in Alpine, Ariz.

Hawkins said the bear came through an open door and swiped at her son from behind while he was watching YouTube videos. She said the family has been coming to the cabin for years and nothing like the incident has ever happened.

"[Brigham] hadn't realized [the bear] because it came in from behind and it reached over him and like swiped at his face twice," Carol Hawkins said. "Got him on the nose and cheek, and then went ahead go this forehead and the top of of his head."

Carol Hawkins said her son Parker, helped chase the bear away by distracting it.

Arizona Game and Fish Department said the bear then left the cabin and approached other family members before entering Brigham's cabin a second time, swiping at his arm. Brigham Hawkins was transported to a local hospital.

Wildlife officers arrived on the scene and euthanized the bear. Officers said the bear was a male, estimated to be about 3 years old. They said the bear's body would be tested for disease.

"It was thanks to the quick reaction by his brother and family that they were able to distract the bear from what very easily in a matter of seconds could have turned into a real tragedy there," Shawn Wagner, Game and Fish Department law enforcement supervision said.

It was the 16th time a bear had attacked a person in Arizona since 1990 with two fatal.