Here are some more discussions on the bear issue in rec.backcountry
Murder Conspiracy Thread:
A More Rational Thread:
Woman killed by black bear,
• Cause is sought for apparently unprovoked attack
in park in Tennessee
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Glenda Ann Bradley was enjoying a backcountry hike while her
former husband fished in a nearby river when a black bear and her
yearling cub attacked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If Bradley, an elementary-school teacher, screamed, no one heard
her, authorities said yesterday. The rushing water of two converging
streams would have covered the sound. Death probably was quick.
When former husband Ralph Hill, 52, found Bradley, the bears were
hovering over her lifeless body and refused to leave. Rangers had to
Bradley, 50, of Cosby became the first person killed by a black bear
in the history of the 66-year-old national park when she was mauled
about 2 p.m. Sunday about 10 miles southwest of Gatlinburg.
Deadly attacks by black bears are extremely rare. Only 37 have been
recorded in North America, and none in the Southeast, according to
the Park Service.
Though black bears have been studied in the Smokies for more than
30 years, park officials were baffled by what happened.
''Ms. Bradley was an experienced day hiker,'' said Phil Francis, the
acting park superintendent. ''As far as we can determine, she did
nothing wrong. This was simply an unprovoked attack.''
Ten million people visit the half-million-acre Smokies national park on
the Tennessee-North Carolina border each year, the most visited
park in the country. Thousands venture into its backcountry to trek
the Appalachian Trail and other woodland paths.
Many come in contact with the park's 1,800 black bears, but nothing
''Bears and people have coexisted in the Southeast and the Smokies
in particular for a long time,'' said Kim Delozier, a Smokies wildlife
biologist. ''We have a lot of people and we have a high density for
''The potential for this type of incident has always been here before,''
he said. ''I think sometimes people get complacent about the danger
and the potential of these types of things occurring.''
Seventeen people were injured by black bears in the Smokies in
1989, the most in any one year. None was hurt seriously, however,
and all were attacked because the bears wanted some of the hikers'
But Bradley's backpack, containing food, was untouched. Her body
was 40 to 50 yards away, said District Ranger Keny Slay.
Hill yelled at the bears and threw stones. Other hikers joined him. As
many as 12 people tried to chase off the bears. Finally one hiker ran
to the nearest ranger station about 45 minutes away to get help.
WHEN THREE RANGERS arrived, they found the female bear
and her 40-pound cub standing over the body, Slay said. The rangers
killed them with their service pistols, firing more than 13 rounds.
The adult bear was 5 years old and slightly underweight. It had been
tagged in 1998 as part of research inventory, and had no record of
The University of Tennessee Veterinary Medicine Department in
Knoxville was conducting a necropsy on the bears to establish they
were responsible for the attack, possibly through DNA evidence,
Meantime, an autopsy of the victim was under way at East Tennessee
State University in Johnson City to determine whether she died of
other causes before or during the attack, Slay said.
Four backcountry campgrounds were to remain closed at least until
''It is a precaution,'' Slay said. ''We want to make sure we got the
Experts say the safest way to deal with a black bear is to make noise
and back away. If the bear begins to approach you, stand your
Woman Killed by Bear in Tennessee
Monday, May 27, 2000
By DUNCAN MANSFIELD, Associated Press Writer
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - A woman waiting for her ex-husband on a trail at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
was killed by a black bear.
Glenda Ann Bradley, 50, of Cosby was mauled Sunday, becoming the first person killed by a black bear in a federal park or
reserve in the Southeast, park officials said.
``This was simply an unprovoked attack,'' Phil Francis, the park's acting superintendent, said Monday.
Bradley, an experienced hiker, and Ralph Hill, 52, entered the park about noon. The couple,
who had been reconciling, hiked about 10 miles from Gatlinburg.
Hill told authorities he left Bradley on the trail to go fishing. He returned about an hour later to
find her backpack on the trail and two black bears - an adult female and a yearling - at her
body about 50 yards away. The 111-pound adult bear apparently killed the woman.
Two rangers shot and killed the animals.
Rangers had tagged the adult bear in 1998 and had placed an orphaned cub with her. Miller said the animal wasn't known as
a problem bear.
The bears were to be tested to determine whether a disease or physical condition prompted the attack.
About 1,800 bears live in the Smokies. No other attacks have been reported this year.
Park officials have closed some campsites through Saturday as a precaution.