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Old 04-14-2006, 06:19 PM
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Bear attack!!

FOXNEWS.COM HOME > NATIONAL
Authorities Try to Trap Bear in Tenn. Mountains That Killed Girl, 6
Friday, April 14, 2006

STORIES
•Bear Attacks Pa. Hunter After Being Shot Four Times•Boy Attacked by Tiger, Lion in Minn.•Lions Save African Girl From Abductors
BENTON, Tenn. — Using traps baited with honey buns and doughnuts, officials Friday tried to capture a black bear that killed a 6-year-old girl and critically injured her mother and 2-year-old brother.

The family had been at a pool below a waterfall in the Cherokee National Forest on Thursday afternoon when the bear attacked, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said.

Witnesses said the bear snatched up the boy in its mouth as the mother and other visitors at the Chilhowee campground tried to fend it off with sticks and rocks, said Dan Hicks, a spokesman for the agency.

The 6-year-old girl ran away but was later found dead about 100 yards down the trail, with a bear standing over her, authorities said.

"Allegedly, after the rescue squad found the little girl, one of the squad members fired a shot from a small caliber handgun," Hicks said Friday. "We don't know whether the bear was hit or not. There was no blood, but it chased it off."

Officials were still trying to piece together exactly what happened to spur the attack, forestry spokeswoman Sharon Moore said. Rangers said the animal might have been suffering from a disease that affected its behavior.




"It's a pretty rare thing, black bears generally don't attack people. I can't think of any time other than — just really rare circumstances," park ranger Monty Williams said.

Both the mother and boy were listed in critical condition Friday at a Chattanooga hospital, but Hicks said both are expected to recover.

Hicks said the boy had puncture wounds on his head and claw marks on his body. The mother also suffered puncture wounds when she was picked up and dragged by the bear.

"We have not been able to talk to her. She may not remember the attack at all," Hicks said.

The little girl's body was taken to a mortuary in Cleveland, Tenn., funeral home owner Ralph Buckner said. He declined to release her identity and no family members were at the funeral home. Authorities also have declined to release the names but have said the family was from Ohio.

The attack occurred in an isolated mountainous area, 10 miles from the nearest highway, in the 640,000-acre national forest, which runs along the Tennessee-North Carolina line southwest of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Authorities first tried to search the rugged terrain for the bear but called off that effort early Friday to concentrate on trying to trap the animal in a 1,000-acre area around the campground.

"We may never find it," Hicks said. "It may be on the top of another mountain by now."

Authorities are asking anyone who was at the campground and saw the attack to come forward because witness accounts could help find the bear. If the animal is captured it will be killed so tests can be done to determine if it was ill.

The campground had only six of its 88 campsites filled at the time of the attack, officials said. Terry McDonald of the U.S. Forest Service said the family members were believed to be day visitors, not overnight campers.

The campground was evacuated after the attack and the witnesses have now scattered, Hicks said.

Hicks said there have been 42 bear sightings in the area in the past couple of weeks, but this is the time of year when bears are usually active.

In May 2000, a woman was killed by a black bear near Gatlinburg. Glena Ann Bradley, a schoolteacher from Cosby, was attacked by two female bears when she took a walk on a trail near a Smoky Mountains
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:09 PM
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Pretty sad, that is what happens, wild animals are unpredictable, but human contact over the years has caused this.
I've spent a lot of time in the mountains, I've seen those idiots chase bear cubs for pictures, once they had one tree'd, there was a long line of cars in the Cove, people piling out to go see the tree'd cub, HELLO, stupid. At the picknic area, my wife was picking up sticks to use in lighting the grill, walked up on a bear unnoticed at the edge of the area, slowly and quietly walked away, for her sake and his, so he'd remain unnoticed. Shortly after she returned to the grill, she told me about it, well, it had woke up and was walking into the area, curiosity, those idiot picknicing were basically gathering where it was, so it would move, they'd follow, they chased that thing for 15 minutes back and forth until a ranger ran it off with a sling shot. I recall talking with the ranger about it, I was amazed at peoples stupidity, he just said I haven't seen anything. You can't blame the animals, go watch the people when they spot a wild animal.
Years ago, they relocated some bears from the Smokey's while hibernating, I recall seeing a ranger truck with trap in Knoxville, caught one at the Baptist hospital, sucker woke up and was headed home.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:24 PM
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Suddenly the Colt 500 makes a lot more sense.

If you can keep it from flying out of your hands when you fire it...
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:48 PM
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Not suggested in a national park, reguardless of the peril you're in, if you shoot, you'll go to the federal pen.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:56 AM
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We go the the Smokies all the time. You used to see bears all the time, but these days the Rangers keep them in the back country. Yes people don't respect the power of these smaller (and cute) black bears. Even the smaller ones can kill you and run very fast to catch you so they can!

The last bear encounter we had was with my daughter. She was about 50 yards ahead of all of us on a trail to Grotto Falls. This trial had as usual a lot of people on it. She rounded a corner and came almost nose to nose with a bear. She turned and ran toward us (a definite no-no -- you should try to back away slowly if possible) screaming "Bear - BEAR!" This bear was as afraid of her as she was. He stayed put as long as he could then bolted down the hill across the trail. All we got to see was his hiny.

The mountains are very beautiful, but be careful of any of the wildlife. Heed what the Rangers say. If any animal changes his behaviour because of you, back off.
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Old 04-16-2006, 01:45 PM
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The one in the picknic area that everyone kept following aound was a large one, the one they tree'd another time was a cub, remember, momma is an ear shot away, and will kill over baby.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:15 PM
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It seems to me that when and if a bear attacks - it is so sudden and devastating that a pistol wouldn't help any more than a super soaker no matter what it is.

It sound kind of funny that the Ranger ran the bear off with a sling shot, but it makes an odd kind of sense.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:59 PM
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Wasn't aggressive, even with idiots casing it all over the area, the steel shot just gave him enough sting to make him want to leave. Watching a travel show, there is a place in Alaska that has many bear attacks, you are urged to carry pepper spray, it will ward off the bears, and in event of aggressiveness, a shot in the eyes will not only blind it, but disorient it, allowing escape.
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:26 AM
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Now that's an idea... I bet it works with big cats too.

Wolves are another story. There are NO documented cases of a wolf, or even a pack of wolves attacking human beings.

Jack London was a damn liar!
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:04 PM
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We did the same "stupid" thing with a bear and a cub in Cades Cove one year. There was a lot of people watching the cub hanging over a limb in a tree. When we went over to another crowd around a tall tree, we could see what was the mother at the very top -- I'm guessing at least 200' up. We thought we had plenty of time to get over and get some good shots of the cub while it was whining. We didn't much more than get over there than the crowd that was watching the mother run past us! She got out of that tree in about 10 seconds and was just meandering over toward us. I made a B line to our van as I had my then 5 yr old daughter on my shoulders. I've never done anything that dumb since.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:36 PM
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Those idiots that were surrounding the area with the tree'd cub years ago, hadn't a clue where momma was, they were all talking about it, standing under the tree looking up saying stupid things like, "I wonder where it's mother is." When cubs are out plaing, the mother isn't always with it in view, but are always within ear shot, and if he cries out, when she comes running, everyone near that cub will be pictured as a threat, and if you are between her and it, well, hope you have life ins for your family.
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