Park officials euthanize bear suspected of attacking Appalachian Trail hiker

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Rangers at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have euthanized a bear they captured near the scene of the attack on hikers last week in the backcountry.

They tranquilized the 400 pound male black bear on Friday just 75 yards from the site of the attack three days before.

Bradely Veeder says a bear bit him on the leg while he was sleeping in a tent near the shelter.

Veeder and other hikers fled to the shelter when the bear returned later in the evening.

Park officials took DNA samples from the darted bear to see if it was in fact the attacker.

But they decided to go ahead and put it down before the DNA tests were complete.

They says the odds of another large, male bear being in the same area are remote, since bears defend their territory.

The bear also had a tooth injury consistent with the bite of the hiker.

Categories: Regional News

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