Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bear bites Appalachian Trail hiker in Tennessee

A black bear bit through the tent and into the lower leg of a man who was hiking the Appalachian Trail and camped for the night at a national park in Tennessee, park officials said on Thursday. Bradley Veeder, 49, of Las Vegas, was sleeping around 11 p.m. local time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tuesday when the bear attacked, park spokeswoman Dana Soehn said by telephone. Because it was so dark, Veeder and nearby campers did not see the bear, which was initially scared away by his screams, Soehn said. Park officials said it was a black bear based on the wound and damage to tents, as well as fur and saliva collected at the scene. Black bears are the only bears found in the region. Veeder and the other campers retreated to a nearby shelter and the bear subsequently returned, destroying two tents, Soehn said. Rangers carried Veeder on horseback from the campsite for about seven miles on Wednesday to an ambulance that transported him to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released, Soehn said. He suffered puncture wounds and swelling...more

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