Bear Drags Sleeping Teen From Hammock on Campsite
A 16-year-old boy was hospitalized this weekend after a bear dragged him from a hammock.
The Ohio teen was on a backpacking trip through Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with his dad at the time of the attack. The park said in a news release that the victim was asleep when a bear pulled him from his hammock and injured him.
Luckily, the teen’s dad was able to chase the bear off.
The teen sustained lacerations to the head, but he remained conscious throughout the attack. He was taken to the hospital, where he is in stable condition.
Park rangers and wildlife biologists are responding to the backcountry campsite area to investigate the scene and to clear the area of other campers. Hazel Creek Trail, Jenkins Ridge Trail, Bone Valley Trail, Cold Spring Gap Trail and backcountry campsites 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, and 88 are closed until further notice. Derrick Knob shelter along the Appalachian Trail has also been closed to camping until officials can determine whether recent bear activity at the shelter may also be related to the same bear.
"While incidents with bears are rare, we ask park visitors to take necessary precautions while hiking in bear country and comply with all backcountry closures," said Superintendent Cassius Cash. "The safety of our visitors is our number one priority."