A black bear was euthanized after it attacked two people while they were tent camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Sunday.
What are the details?
According to a report from ABC News, a family of five was visiting the park and came face to face with a black bear after it tore into the family's tent at approximately 5:20 a.m. local time.
The bear then proceeded to attack the mother and her 3-year-old daughter, leaving them with superficial head wounds. The family's father was eventually successful in scaring the bear away from the campsite and rushed the injured to a nearby medical facility for treatment. Park rangers quickly placed the immediate area on lockdown until the bear could be located and contained.
The park service in a statement said that it was able to capture the bear and put it down due to its apparent risk to humans. The bear, authorities said, appeared to have been "food-conditioned," which is said to have prompted the animal to invade the family's tent.
“The bear weighed approximately 350 pounds, which is not standard for this time of year, suggesting the bear had previous and likely consistent access to non-natural food sources,” Lisa McInnis, chief of resource management, said in the statement provided by the park. “In this incident, the bear was likely attracted to food smells throughout the area, including dog food at the involved campsite. It is very difficult to deter this learned behavior and, as in this case, the result can lead to an unacceptable risk to people.”
The outlet reported that the black bear is the second of its kind to have been euthanized in June due to being fed — and becoming accustomed to — human food. Authorities encourage campers to make all necessary precautions to properly store food while in the parks.
"According to park officials, human-bear conflicts peak in late May and June when natural foods such as berries are not yet available," the outelt reported. "As a result, bears are attracted to the smell of food in the park’s developed areas, including campgrounds and picnic areas."