A teenager who fended off a 175 pound bear with a shovel to save a zookeeper has won the $100 heroism award for July.
"I looked at that cage later and asked myself, "You mean you went in there after that bear?" said 13 year old Randall Froedge of rural route 1, Crown Point, Ind. "I guess I was too excited when it happened to realize what I was doing."
This summer, the boy has been helping William McCord, 64, keeper at a small zoo at the Lake County fair grounds in Crown Point. On July 21, while McCord was trying to feed two cinnamon bears, the male struck at him, severely lacerating his leg.
Knocked Off Balance
McCord was knocked off balance by the blow. Seeing McCord's plight, Randall entered the cage, driving off the bear by swinging the shovel. After McCord got out of the cage, Randall slowly backed out.
"I think I'll save the money for my college education," said Randall, a freshman at Crown Point High school and the fourth consecutive youngster to win the award.
McCord, who has returned to his job, told Randall: "I'd probably be in the morgue if it hadn't been for you."
The attack occurred when McCord attempted to put food in the cage and tapped the bear on the nose to make him back up.
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