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Officials say bear that attacked 10-year-old in Connecticut did not have rabies

A large boar, or male, black bear walks along the edge of the forest.
jared lloyd / Moment RF
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A large boar, or male, black bear walks along the edge of the forest.

State officials say a black bear that attacked a 10-year-old boy in western Connecticut over the weekend did not have rabies. But a preliminary necropsy report says the animal may have been feeding on trash cans.

The report found “rare pieces of macaroni” in the bear’s stomach, which officials said could indicate the bear had eaten garbage in the past but not recently.

According to the report, the male bear was found to have “good nutritional body condition with adequate fat reserves.” Officials said stomach contents “were normal for an omnivore,” containing nuts, berries and leaves.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shared the preliminary necropsy report Thursday.

DEEP says more test results are pending, including a tissue and cell analysis to look for disease not readily apparent from a visual examination.

On Sunday, state officials euthanized the roughly 225-pound bear after it attacked a 10-year-old boy in a backyard in Morris. Officials said the boy’s injuries were not life threatening.

DEEP says residents should secure trash cans and remove garbage, bird feeders and pet food from outside homes to encourage bears to stay away.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.