The black bear that mauled a 15-year-old boy at a remote Alberta campsite on Sunday was likely very hungry, a wildlife official said Monday.

"It's been a very late spring," said Russell Stashko, head of enforcement with Alberta Fish and Wildlife. It was likely a predatory attack where the bear was looking for food, he said.

"The carcass is being examined right now, but I can tell you right now the stomach contents were mostly grass and, you know, the bear was very hungry."

The youth is from Fort Assiniboine, about 160 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. His uncle told CBC News the boy needed surgery after the mauling and is recovering in hospital in Edmonton.

The attack occurred early Sunday morning at Roche Lake, a remote campsite near Swan Hills, Alta.

A black bear had initially approached the campsite on Saturday night but was scared away by a shotgun blast into the air.

But the bear came back at 5:30 the next morning, entered the tent and dragged the youth away. The attack ended after another camper fired a shot at the bear.

Later that morning, a group of hunters, who were unaware of the mauling, shot a bear close to the campsite. Fish and Wildlife officials retrieved the animal and are checking DNA taken from teen's wounds to see if it's the bear involved in the attack.

"With luck our scientists will be able to match the DNA with the DNA we have from the carcass," Stashko said.

Initial test results were inconclusive, so more were done on Tuesday.