Bear bites Appalachian Trail hiker in the Smokies

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – A hiker says he was bitten by a bear as he slept along the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn tells local media that a 49-year-old thru-hiker told Graham County, North Carolina authorities he was sleeping in a tent Tuesday night near the Spence Field Shelter when a bear bit him on the leg through the tent.

The victim was able to scare the bear away.

Soehn says the bear returned at some point and tore through two vacant tents, including the one belonging to the victim.

Park rangers took the injured hiker out of the backcountry via horseback, then transported him to Blount Memorial Hospital.

A park wildlife technician and park ranger responded to the area Wednesday morning.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Categories: Regional News

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