Raymond C. Kitchen died rescuing Kelly McConnell from an attacking bear, Fort Nelson, British Columbia, August 14, 1997. Kelly, 13, and his mother were on an elevated boardwalk in a wooded area of a provincial park when they saw a black bear feeding nearby. The 218-pound male bear suddenly charged onto the walk, set upon Kelly’s mother, and began to maul her. Shouting, Kelly approached the bear and kicked it, then obtained a branch and struck the bear repeatedly about the head and nose. The bear turned on Kelly, taking him to the walk and inflicting numerous wounds. Visiting the park, Kitchen, 56, business operator, responded to the scene from several hundred feet away. He shouted at the bear and, although clad only in swimming trunks, fought it with a stick. The bear then turned on Kitchen and attacked him, taking him to the ground about 20 feet from where Kelly and his mother lay immobilized by their wounds. Other park visitors arrived and attempted to stop the bear’s mauling of Kitchen. While one of those persons left for help, two others tended Kelly and his mother. They were joined by a third person who helped give the victims first aid while the bear remained nearby. Unbeknownst to them, the bear left Kitchen and approached, and it charged the boardwalk again. They chased it away. The bear left the immediate area but attacked and mauled a fourth victim before it was felled by firearm. Kelly required three weeks’ hospitalization for treatment of his wounds, which included several broken bones and severe lacerations. Kitchen and Kelly’s mother died of their injuries.
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