SMOKEY MOUNTAINS BEAR - Friday 9/11/2020
(This was at Campsite #82, a remote area between Fontana Lake and Clingman's Dome. A 16 year-old boy was mauled in the same area in 2015 while hiking with his father. )
Park rangers found a bear scavenging on the remains of a dead man in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday.
Backpackers on Friday afternoon first discovered an unoccupied tent at backcountry campsite 82 near Hazel Creek Trail. On the other side of the creek, the hikers spotted a bear scavenging near human remains, according to a news release from the park.
The hikers left the area so they could get cellphone service and called authorities about 7 p.m. Rangers and wildlife officers arrived to the campsite shortly after midnight and found the bear "actively scavenging" on the man's remains, according to the release.
Rangers euthanized the bear. Authorities have not determined the man's cause of death and are continuing to investigate. They have not yet released the name of the man, who is from another state.
Campsite 82 will remain closed until further notice, park officials said. Hazel Creek Trail also is closed between Cold Springs Gap Trail and Welch Ridge Trail.