Park euthanizes bear believed responsible for Smokies attack

AP News
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Posted: May 17, 2016 2:03 PM

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have euthanized a black bear that they believe bit a sleeping Appalachian Trail hiker last week.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Xjkl1g ) reports that park wildlife technicians shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart on Friday, three days after a 49-year-old Las Vegas man was bitten on the leg while he was sleeping in a tent near the Spence Field shelter. The victim was able to scare the bear away.

Park Superintendent Cassius Cash consulted with officials and decided to euthanize the tranquilized bear. The newspaper does not specify why that decision was made.

Officials are awaiting lab results to determine if DNA from the dead bear matches a DNA sample taken from the victim's tent.