US Park Rangers Kill Bear After Finding It Eating Human Remains
The park rangers discovered male human remains at a campground in the Hazel Creek Trail area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina on Friday evening.
The National Park Services later confirmed that a bear had been discovered in the area scavenging on the human remains.
The alarm was raised by another group of campers who discovered an empty tent, and set off to find some mobile phone reception so that the alarm could be raised.
Wildlife officers and rangers then rushed to the area after reports, and upon arriving at Backcountry Campsite 82 at around 7PM, they were able to confirm that the remains were those of an adult male.
The officials also said that they euthanised the bear because it was 'actively scavenging' on the remains.
The cause of the man's death is not yet known, and his identity has not been released. All that is known is that he was visiting from out of state.
The National Parks Service released a statement that read: "Rangers are currently working to notify the next of kin. The cause of death is unknown, and the case remains under active investigation,"
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The trail has also been closed down between Cold Springs Gap Trail and Welch Ridge Trail while investigations are ongoing.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park sits in half a million acres of difficult forested terrain straddling eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.
It's the busiest park in the United States, and saw visits from 12.5 million tourists last year - a National Parks Service record.
In a remarkable coincidence, last Friday was exactly two years to the day since another black bear was found scavenging on the remains of a man off Rich Mountain Road in the Great Smoky Mountains Park.
At the time, officials put a tracking collar on the bear and set it loose, but then euthanised it five days later out of concern for the visitors to the area.
In this case, after an autopsy the man was discovered to have died of a meth overdose, and it was concluded that the bear probably didn't attack him while he was alive.
In 2015, a 16-year-old boy was seriously injured in the same area of the park after being mauled by a black bear while backpacking with his father.
Featured Image Credit: PA