Sunday, April 16, 2006

Child Killed by Black Bear in Polk County

A black bear attacked a family of three in Polk County, Tennessee, killing a 6-year-old girl, and seriously injuring a 2-year-old boy and the children's mother. They have been airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center and are listed in critical condition. The attack happened late Thursday afternoon in the Cherokee National Forest, at the Chilhowee campground. The family was visiting from Ohio. According to Dan Hicks, a spokesperson with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, it was around 4 pm when the bear walked up to the family near Benton Falls. Everyone started throwing rocks and yelling at the bear to get it to go away. Instead the bear picked up the 2 year old boy and began to maul him. The boys mothers tried to help her son and she was attacked. During the confusion the 6 year old girl ran away. The bear ran away as well. A search began for the girl. She was found dead 100 yards away. Hicks said her injuries were consistant with a bear attack....

Authorities Capture Bear Believed To Have Killed Girl

The U.S. Forest Service said Sunday that it has captured a bear believed to be the one that killed a girl in a Tennessee state park Thursday. A spokeswoman said the forest service plans to euthanize the black bear and send its body to experts to see if it's the one that attacked a family. The official said the bear is "the same size" as the one that killed the young Ohio girl. She also said there aren't "that many bears" in the area that was quarantined after the attack. The 350- to 400-pound bear attacked a mother and her two children on a trail in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest....

Slaying by bear second since 2000

The Thursday fatal bear attack in Polk County is the second slaying by a black bear of a human in the area since a woman was killed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2000. After that fatality, Park officials increased distribution of safety tips outlining how visitors should behave in bear country. On May 21, 2000, an adult and a yearling female bear killed Glenda Bradley, 50, an elementary school teacher at Jones Cove in Sevier County. This was the first black bear slaying of a human in a national park, according to Park spokeswoman Nancy Gray. Bradley was killed while hiking on Goshen Prong Trail near Elkmont. In the Smokies there are over 9 million visitors annually, and it is home to about 1,800 bears. Bear encounters with humans are inevitable....

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