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Bear mauls camper

A bear mauled a 16-year-old camp counselor early Thursday, biting her shoulder, thigh and legs before being driven off and killed.

Anna Knochel's early morning mauling was the second bear attack on this mountain north of Tucson in a week.

Knochel, one of 14 counselors supervising 71 children on a 4-H Club camping outing, was in a tent alone when the attack happened about 5:15 a.m., said sheriff's Sgt. Mike O'Connor.

O'Connor said another counselor heard Knochel screaming, and when she went to investigate, Knochel yelled, "I'm being attacked by a bear!"

Other counselors tried unsuccessfully to drive the bear off by beating on the tent and screaming. The animal finally fled after an adult camp staffer shot it twice.

Knochel was airlifted to the hospital as sheriff's deputies fanned out in the area to warn other campers about the attack and to search for the bear. Two deputies found the animal and shot it to death.

Knochel had bites in her upper shoulder, thigh, legs and feet and suffered cuts "all over her body," O'Connor said.

She underwent surgery at Tucson Medical Center, but her condition was not immediately available, a hospital spokesman said.

While Knochel was in surgery, state and federal officials decided to close three campgrounds in the area until Monday to try to trap potential problem bears.

O'Connor said it wasn't immediately clear what prompted the attack.

The rest of the 4-H'ers were taken down the 9,000-foot mountain to be reunited with their families. The campers had been on the mountain since Sunday.

A week before Thursday's attack, a Brownie Girl Scout camping on the mountain was swiped after she awoke to find a bear sniffing her face. Jennifer Corrales, 8, had to have a tear duct surgically repaired.