|Birth: ||Sep. 9, 1995|
|Death: ||Jun. 17, 2007|
Samuel Evan Ives died on Sunday, June 17, 2007 after a Tragic Bear Attack in American Fork Canyon, Utah while camping with his family. He was born September 9, 1995 in American Fork, Utah on a beautiful Saturday morning to Rebecca Ives and Kevan Samuel Francis. He entered this world a month early, eager to start his life's adventures. He was surrounded by close and extended family who cherished him. When he was almost three, his mother married Timothy Mulvey and he would often proudly tell complete strangers that he had two dads.
He loved life! From the very beginning he was a happy child, loving, and always busy. He tried to keep up with his uncle Nathan and tried to do everything he did, even though there were seven years between them. He had to learn everything about dinosaurs like Nathan, learn to skateboard, play soccer, ride a bike and scooter, and play the guitar, the drums, piano and even violin. He had a very unique personality. He was very sensitive, and was interested in the feelings of others. He didn't like to see others unhappy and often played the role of protector and peacemaker. He had an unusual confidence and outgoing nature. He loved to spend hours playing with his friends, and didn't want the days to end. Sam loved to read, loved adventure, swimming, video games, and loved to camp with his family, to go places and have new adventures. He might have had the biggest collection of LEGOs in Pleasant Grove. He was gregarious and outgoing. He had a lot of friends, whom he cared for and who cared a lot for him. He looked forward to the times he spent with three sets of cousins. He had the unusual gift of happiness, and it was infectious.
He was very inquisitive and often surprised us with his perspective on things. He was intrigued with WWII. He loved science and doing experiments. Sam was fascinated with this Grandfather's magic tricks and considered himself an apprentice magician and learned to perform magic tricks. He attended Valley View Elementary, and next year he would have been in the sixth grade. He was in the chess club at school. He had received his Arrow of Light in the Cub Scout program and was starting Boy Scouts.
Funeral Services were held on Friday, June 22, 2007 at 11:00 A.M. in the Mount Mahogany 6th LDS Ward Chapel, 1541 North 1300 West in Pleasant Grove, Utah. There was no Viewing held.
Graveside Services followed at the American Fork City Cemetery where he was buried.
REST IN ETERNAL PEACE SAMUEL.
The following is a series of News Articles that were written in the Deseret Moring News following the attacks:
1. Boy killed by bear
The 11-year-old was pulled from his tent
By Sara Israelsen
Deseret Morning News
A black bear that fatally mauled an 11-year-old boy in American Fork Canyon might not have been motivated by leftover camp food, officials said Monday.
Steve Fidel, Deseret Morning NewsCollette Young shows the hole left in her tent during a bear attack early Saturday in American Fork Canyon. No one was injured. "It does not appear that the very minimal amount of food in the campsite had anything to do with the bear attack," Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Darren Gilbert said.
The boy, Samuel Evan Ives of Pleasant Grove, was camping with his family in a wooded area just north of the Timpooneke campgrounds Sunday night when a bear slashed through his tent and pulled him out in his sleeping bag.
"We're trying to make sense of this very tragic event," grandfather Eldon Ives said. "It's something that just doesn't make sense. It's like a bad dream. We're still struggling with how to grieve."
"Some things you're prepared for, but we weren't prepared for news that our grandson and child was killed by a bear. That's one of the hardest things we're struggling with — the nonsensical nature of this tragedy."
Ives said the family appreciates the outpouring of concern but asks for respect and privacy as they grieve. A trust fund has been set up for Samuel Ives' family through Wells Fargo Bank.
This is the first black bear-related death recorded in Utah, officials said.
The family heard the boy's screams but couldn't find him outside, so they reported an abduction. Officers from several agencies searched for two hours before they found the boy's body nearly 400 yards from the family's multiroom tent, Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Dennis Harris said.
"It's just really sad," said Jim Karpowitz, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "You don't expect that kind of thing when you are going camping with your family."
A 250- to 350-pound adult black bear was killed about 11:40 a.m. Monday after extensive tracking by 26 dogs and five houndsmen.
Officers shot the bear in the shoulder Sunday night, somewhere between Timpooneke and Ridge Line, but he ran off, and the dogs temporarily lost his scent. The bear wandered until he was finally tracked down and fatally shot.
The animal's body was pulled off the mountain by a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter, then driven to Utah State University for testing, said Mike Fowlks, chief of law enforcement for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Steve Fidel, Deseret Morning News Jake Francom shows a pillow that was dragged away from his tent by a black bear early Saturday, a day before Sunday night's fatal mauling in the same primitive area. Dark marks on the pillow are the bear's paw prints. Wildlife officials said later Monday that DNA tests confirmed the bear was in fact responsible for the fatal mauling.
"Normally, they're just a nuisance, not killers," Karpowitz said. "This is the first (death) we've ever dealt with."
Officials also were investigating whether the bear was the same one that clawed into a tent of campers earlier. Those campers were questioning why the area wasn't shut down after they reported a bear scavenged in their campsite and ripped their tent.
Jake Francom, 26, camped with his girlfriend, his brother and two other friends Friday night in the same primitive area just above Timpanooke. The site is not a specific Forest Service campground and has no services.
He awoke when something outside the tent hit him in the head about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
Thinking it was someone moving in the tent, he said, "Stop it." But when he felt two more hard hits, he realized it was a bear.
Jake told his girlfriend to get out, yelling at a friend in another tent to grab his gun.
The bear ripped through the tent, taking a bite out of his pillow.
The men shot at the bear a few times. It walked away from the camp, then stopped to stare at the campers before it lumbered off.
The campers drove down the canyon and called their parents, who called police.
After hearing about Sunday's fatality and having their sons' experience characterized as a "tent-brushing," the parents said they were frustrated and wondered why the area wasn't closed.
"Why would they let another family up there?" mother Kathy Francom said. "All they had to do was shut a gate (to the campground) and that boy wouldn't be gone."
"It broke me down," father Kurt Francom said of watching the news of the mauling early Monday. "It could have been my boy."
Uinta National Forest officials defended their decision to keep the forest open, saying the information they received about the bear didn't include many details, and they were told the proper agencies had been notified.
KSL-TVWildlife officials drag the body of a black bear Monday. DNA tests showed the bear killed a boy Sunday. Plus, the area the family chose wasn't actually a campground but merely a flat spot of land.
"We are indeed sorry," said John Logan, acting district ranger for the Uinta National Forest. "Our hearts are going out to the family."
When they learned of the bear-related fatality about 2 a.m., they sent rangers to sweep campgrounds in the area. The area was sparsely populated with campers, but the rangers told them about the mauling and asked them to leave, said Loyal Clark, Uinta National Forest spokeswoman.
The division also posts signs at campgrounds and trailheads to notify campers and hikers about bears in the area and necessary precautions.
"We're doing everything we can to make people bear-aware," Karpowitz said. "It's hard to plan for an event that's never ever happened in the state of Utah."
Division of Wildlife Resources immediately classified the bear as a Level Three animal and sent out officers with a shoot-to-kill prerogative, Karpowitz said.
A Level Three bear is one that has displayed aggressive behavior toward humans, has little fear of humans or has attempted to kill domestic pets, according to information from the division.
Level Two animals need to be relocated, and Level One animals prompt officials to post signs about potential sightings.
From 1900 to 2007, there were 49 fatal attacks involving bears in North America, with 29 of those attacks occurring since 1990.
Being knowledgeable about the area and the potential dangers is the best way to avoid problems, Clark said.
"It's as safe as it's going to get out there," Clark said. "If there are hazards, we're going to try to mitigate those, evaluate those and take appropriate action."
2. Bear attack: Why no warning at campground?
By Amy Choate-Nielsen
Deseret Morning News
PLEASANT GROVE — Samuel Evan Ives was excited to go camping with his family on Sunday night, eager to try out the new, two-room tent his stepdad had received for a Father's Day present.
Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning NewsSharon Ives, left, Sam's grandmother, embraces Rachel Cutler, Sam's aunt, during a press conference. But if the 11-year-old's parents had known that less than 48 hours earlier, in the same location, a 300-pound black bear had sliced open a similar tent and swiped at its occupants, the family never would have stayed at the American Fork Canyon campground that later became the site of Sam's gruesome death.
Eldon Ives, Sam's grandfather and family spokesman, said at a media gathering Tuesday that U.S. Forest Service officials should have closed the primitive camping area where the bear had previously bothered other campers. If there had been some kind of warning, then maybe Sam would still be alive and the family would not be enduring this "surreal nightmare," Ives said as he held back tears and shook with emotion.
"It's hard for us to go around placing blame on people, but we do feel that the campgrounds should have been closed down and that there should have been a warning to campers that there had been problems with a bear in that same area," Ives said. "If there's anything positive that can come out of this, we hope that the Forest Service will do a better job at protecting campers in the future."
Sam was sleeping just feet away from his mother, Rebecca Ives, and stepfather, Tim Mulvey, when a black bear ripped open the family's tent and dragged the Pleasant Grove boy away around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Chilling screams of "leave me alone!" woke Sam's parents. But because they did not hear the bear, the family assumed the boy had been abducted by a human.
It wasn't until around 1:30 a.m. that police officials arrived and found that Sam had been killed by the bear. Representatives from the Division of Wildlife Resources then hunted the bear down and killed it.
That was the second time the DWR had pursued the bear in two days. On Saturday, the division chased the bear for more than five hours after campers said they had been attacked during the night. No one was injured in that encounter with the bear.
The fact that the DWR was so heavily pursuing the bear makes it strange that the animal returned to the original camp site and attacked so quickly. The DWR didn't expect any campers to be in the area.
Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning NewsEldon Ives, grandfather of Samuel Ives, pauses to control his emotions while speaking. A biologist for the DWR had been stationed in the site until 5 p.m. Sunday during the first bear pursuit, and there were plans to return to the site at first light Monday morning to set a trap for the bear and post signs, said Scott Root, Division of Wildlife Resources conservation outreach manager.
Unbeknownst to the DWR, the family came to camp after 5 p.m., after the biologist — who could have warned the family — had already left, Root said.
"Four hours from the time we left, the bear returned and caused a fatality," Root said. "We just chased the bear away and we knew it was out there a long way....The odds of this bear being run as far away as it was and turning around and running right back to this campsite was phenomenal."
Root called the incident a "freak accident that we all feel terrible about," and said the division has shed tears over the family's loss.
According to John Logan, acting district ranger for the Pleasant Grove ranger district in the Uinta National Forest, the Forest Service followed its protocol exactly in responding to the situation by working with the DWR, but Logan wasn't informed of either bear attack until Monday morning — after Sam's death.
As the acting district ranger, Logan has the authority to post warnings in addition to the standard, bright orange bear country notices that hang from kiosks and trailheads in the forest. Since Logan wasn't informed until after the attack occurred, it was too late to call for more signs. But preliminary information of the first bear encounter was so minimal, signs wouldn't have been posted anyway, Logan said.
Although the DWR had information that justified killing the bear after the first encounter, the Forest Service, at first, mistakenly thought the incident had just been a "brush-by," Logan said.
Cory Adams PhotographySamuel Ives, who was killed by a bear Sunday, is seen in a school portrait. "Certainly, if the facts had been known to the extent that they're known today, we would have signed the area and had some kind of warning there that this site has been known to be visited by bears, but every site has probably been known to be visited by bears at some time or another," Logan said.
Logan said the DWR and Forest Service response to the first attack would normally have been sufficient, and he does not expect the Forest Service will change its protocol for future incidents.
"To say we're going to change protocol or do things differently, I don't think we would do things differently," Logan said. "We would evaluate (each situation) based on the data we have and take the appropriate action to protect the public that is out there."
Ives said his grandson loved adventure and camping with his family. The sixth-grader had been in the Cub Scouts program and was just starting to participate in the Boy Scouts of America.
"We were looking forward to see what this special young man would be when he grew up," Ives said. "What happened to him was so far beyond anything that could have been expected....It's difficult to comprehend and come to terms with."
A private funeral for Sam has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at the Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 S. 300 East in Pleasant Grove. Family and friends of the family are invited to attend.
A trust fund has been established in Sam's name at the Wells Fargo Bank. The family says it will use any donations it receives for funeral services, counseling and to help the family.
3. Experts find no odd factors in bear attack
By Joe Bauman and Bob Bernick Jr.
Deseret Morning News
Wildlife experts on Tuesday were finding no unusual stress factors that might have prompted a large black bear to attack and kill 11-year-old Samuel Evan Ives in American Fork Canyon.
Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning NewsBrad Rawlins, left, and grandfather Eldon Ives, spokesmen for Samuel's family, talk about their loss. But simple proximity of humans and bears seems to guarantee that more conflicts are inevitable, said the director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Jim Karpowitz added that Sunday night's "horrible, tragic bear attack" could be just the start of bear problems this summer.
"Bears are all around us" on the Wasatch Front, he said. "They are on our doorsteps" because of the proximity of homes to forested mountains.
"There are more bears around these days, more people camping," he said.
Karpowitz predicted interactions between humans and bears will increase. Bear problems have already occurred in northern and northeastern Utah this year, he added.
"We are working very hard, under our bear policy, to deal with those right now," he said.
The boy's family, residents of Pleasant Grove, camped a short distance north of Timpanooke campgrounds in the Uinta National Forest. Late Sunday night the bear ripped through the tent where Samuel was sleeping and pulled him outside while the boy was in his sleeping bag. Awakened by his screams, the family tried to find him but could not.
Two hours later searchers discovered Samuel's body about 400 yards from the tent site. Trackers with dogs killed the bear, estimated at between 300 and 350 pounds, about 11:30 a.m. Monday. A necropsy (animal autopsy) at a state laboratory based at Utah State University confirmed it was the same bear.
Hal Black, professor of wildlife biology at Brigham Young University, said the bear's weight probably was about 300 pounds, "which is an early summer bear." He talked with a friend who helped track the bear and load its carcass.
After gorging all summer, a large adult black bear could weigh 400 pounds before it hibernates, Black added.
This animal looked like a healthy, mature male bear. It did not seem emaciated, the friend said.
Bears are omnivorous, eating nearly any potential food they come across from fish to grass, ants, mice and deer. At the elevation where the attack occurred, possibly around 9,000 feet, fresh forbs and grasses were available for the bear to eat.
"To think that he was starving is probably nonsense," Black said. "He looked healthy."
The bear's age was probably 6 to 9 years, based on size and the fact that the canine teeth were not yet ground down, he said.
This time of year, bears tear open logs and stumps and eat insects inside, like ants. Also, "They're eating wasp's nests, which seems like a tough way to make a living," Black said.
Male bears cover more ground than usual around this time, searching for female bears. Possibly its travels brought it to the campground.
"It could have been his first time in a campground or he could have been experienced," Black added.
Bears can smell food from a mile or two away, according to Black.
"I don't know what happened at the campsite. But this is not an unusual thing, for a bear to be smelling a human on the other side of the tent," he said.
The night before the attack, a bear ripped the tent of a camper in the same vicinity.
"If you're a 300-pound animal and you've got nice long claws, and you lean up against a canvas tent," Black said, "you might fall through it."
While an investigation will tell whether the bear was diseased, Black expects it was "a healthy animal. It was out foraging."
Barrie K. Gilbert, a noted bear researcher formerly based at USU, said he thinks the deadly attack was "truly an anomaly."
"It means people should be careful around bears because they're big and they're dangerous," said Gilbert, who is retired and was contacted in eastern Ontario, Canada.
Gilbert said many black bears become food-conditioned through interactions with people. They may become assertive and shove humans away from food, as they do with other bears.
He believes bears that are least familiar with humans are likely to be most assertive. "They don't recognize humans as much of a threat," he said. But where bears are hunted, the survivors tend to avoid people more.
Attacks by black bears are so rare in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Nevada that people should not be afraid to camp outdoors, he added.
One possibility, Gilbert said, is that the bear might have heard something inside the tent that "sounded like a mouse," and pounced.
Still, large male bears can tend to become single-minded, aggressive and nasty, Gilbert said.
"They almost get cunning," he said.
Sometimes powerful males get used to "beating up just anything out there, and they'll run down anything and eat it," Gilbert added.
He praised state officials for killing this one, saying that after an animal kills a human, it "won't back off" and will seek out others.
Housing developments did not play a role in the attack, said Kevin Bunnell, DWR mammals program coordinator.
"There aren't summer homes or anything like that near the area," he said.
But for outdoors activities, American Fork Canyon is a high-use area with lots of visitors, he said.
Did the bear attack because it had run out of natural food?
"No, right now at that elevation, things are still lush and green," Bunnell said. "They're kind of limited to eating grass, which they can do just fine on. ... But there's not a lot of variety out there right now. Berries and nuts and acorns and things haven't come on yet."
Neither is the area suffering from drought at this time of year.
"You want to make sure that you cook away from where you're sleeping," he said. "And then change clothes. You don't want to sleep in the same clothes you're cooking in," because bears might smell the food and go after it.
Also, visitors should have good hygiene, as bears can smell body odor.
"Their noses are really what they use to investigate the world around them," he said. "They're like a dog."
Bunnell said smells that don't indicate food still might prompt a bear to investigate out of curiosity.
4. Homage to Sam
By Amy Choate-Nielsen
Deseret Morning News
PLEASANT GROVE — The knowledge that Samuel Evan Ives would have wanted to comfort those mourning him doesn't make the 11-year-old's death any easier on his friends or family.
Keith Johnson, Deseret Morning NewsFriends and family members gather Friday in Pleasant Grove for the funeral of Sam Ives, who was killed by a bear. But for hundreds of people gathered to grieve at Ives' funeral Friday, recalling memories of the would-be sixth grader's kind-heartedness and humor still brought brief smiles to otherwise sorrowful faces.
"If Sam were there today with us, he would have tried to cheer us up, it's just part of his personality," said Brad Rawlins, a friend of the family who spoke to the media about the memorial services. "He would have tried to make us happy. That was the role that he played for his friends and his family."
Ives died Sunday night when he was attacked by a black bear while his family slept in a primitive campground in American Fork Canyon. Necropsy exams on the bear have shown that the animal was a healthy, non-rabid, 370-pound male, Division of Wildlife Services officials said Friday.
The attack that killed Ives was the first recorded fatal black bear attack in Utah.
Some 500 friends and relatives remembered Ives at his funeral services in Pleasant Grove Friday morning, playing music and telling stories of the boy's love of life and consideration for others.
"Time and time again, what came out through (the funeral) was that here was a young boy who didn't want people to be unhappy," Rawlins said. "He would go out of his way for people."
Rawlins said one time his 9-year-old son, Spencer, had a bad bike accident while he was playing with Ives. Ives treated Spencer like a younger brother, Rawlins said, and when Spencer crashed, Ives helped him onto his motorized scooter so he wouldn't have to walk home injured. Then Ives walked Spencer's bike home himself.
Ives was always kind to his friends, said Marbe Campbell, whose son, Malcolm, was friends with Ives. In the wake of Ives' death, Campbell says her son and his friends have reminisced about Ives' good nature and resolved to be more like him.
Ives never ridiculed his friends, and he never got frustrated with them, Campbell said.
"I really think that because of the kind of boy Sam was, that (Sam's friends) are better because they knew him and they will come out of this stronger," Campbell said. "They've already shown incredible maturity in being able to say that Sam was always kind and quick to forgive and he didn't call names and 'We want to be like Sam.' I think they will come out of this always remembering Sam and being grateful that they knew him."
Campbell is helping to organize a tree-garden memorial for Ives with the help of his friends and their parents. The memorial will be placed at Valley View Elementary School, where Ives went to school. The garden will include trees, which will be chosen by Ives' family, a bench and a memorial plaque to honor Ives.
Other people in the community have also reached out to the Ives family.
A Boy Scouts of America troop in Pleasant Grove has been collecting contributions for the Wells Fargo Samuel Evan Ives Fund at this week's Strawberry Days festival. Troop 1168 will continue to collect donations today at the boutique in the city's community center until 5 p.m.
The troop doesn't know the Ives family, but Belinda Haderlie, who helped organize the effort, said the Scouts wanted to "show our support of the family."
Ives' family members said they are grateful for how the community has helped them.
"We want to thank everyone for the phone calls and the acts of sympathy," said Kay Francis, Ives' grandmother.
Eldon Ives, Sam's grandfather, said the family had received so many acts of kindness, gifts and prayers that thanking everyone involved in supporting the family is difficult.
"If Sam (Ives) were there today with us, he would have tried to cheer us up." "We have heard from people on the West Coast to Virginia in the East and from Idaho to Arizona in the South," Eldon Ives said. "We know that it is impossible to be in contact with the many, many people beyond this, whose hearts have been touched by the events of this week. We are sincerely grateful to the many people who have given generously to the family, including love, support, service, gifts and flowers. Our family cannot thank you all by name publicly, but we want everyone to know how much this means to our family. Your kindness has helped us in many ways."
American Fork Cemetery
Created by: Ryan D. Curtis
Record added: Jun 27, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20131519