Yes, this makes the 4th thread started about it! Trip Advisor shut down one of them. Said it is not good on family site. Seems it is a family that it happened to! LOL
Any type of human/bear interaction in these parts that is of a negative manner, is exceptionally rare. Usually, when any interaction occurs,we find out later there was some sort of human propvocation that started the matter. People think it's all fun and games and while they are gentle creatures, as a norm, they can be pushed. It's just sad. I guess we have to reserve judgement til we know more. If it was an unprovoked thing, it will be suprising and the exception to the rule.
I think you can look at the number of posts I have on TA to see my participation and I think it says how much I enjoy TA and have contributed to their success ( LOL), but I think if they are going to have a forum, they must allow people to discuss such things. It's necessary travel information. I agree such stories can be overdone, but to stifle discussion is counterproductive to the forum. I therefor publicly disagree with their decision to end discussion on the topic. It is vital that people traveling to such areas know the risks!
C'mon, TnGirl. Give the boy the benefit of the doubt. I'm pretty sure he didn't attack the bear.
Link to updated article:
The article says it was unprovoked and they had no food with them. The father says the only thing he can think of is that they had eaten fried chicken and maybe the bear smelled that.
Reports are saying the authorities saw the aggression in the bear and that's what they had to kill it. It is entirely possible the attack was unprovoked. Most animals ( like humans) have different personalities and behavior patterns. Some are are docile and some are aggressive.
I don't know if it is because the bears are getting overpopulated inside the park, or if there are just too many people visiting their homes, but I have definitely noticed a change in the typical behavior.
On our last trip, as we drove through Roaring Fork, a mother and 2 cubs were standing near the edge of the road. As we passed, she stood up on her hind legs behind a tree, and acted pretty aggressively towards our car. We were in shock at what we were seeing, and we drove away quickly and let her be.
From speaking with rangers, I know of at least 3 bluff charges that have occured inside the park in 2008. One charge shut down the Schoolhouse Gap and Turkey Pen Ridge Trails for almost 2 weeks.
Yesterday, the man who writes the YourSmokies Blog was stalked by a large bear while hiking. Click here to read more:
Whatever the cause of this behavior, we all need to be a little more aware of our surroundings while on the trail, and everyone in your group should know exactly what to do if a situation involving a bear arises. Odds are, that most people will not even see a bear while in the park, but if you are lucky enough to find one, treat it with respect.
That said, PLEASE don't let this keep you from getting out and enjoying the park. Black bears are very smart animals, and we have had many wonderful encounters with them in the park. Just remember that they are wild animals, and each one has its own unique personality.
Interesting post, fire.... my wife and I were hiking Elkmont last week and about half way around the loop we heard some rustling and "huffing" but couldn't see anything because the brush was dense. I put my wife in front of me and watched behind us carefully until we had moved on some distance. I can't say it was a bear because I did not see it, but it was large...and there was an odor in the air that could have been bear ( I've smelled it before)- it can be mistaken for skunk odor.
The news said the rangers could tell by the pictures the family took that the bear was not provoked. They said they were taking pictures when it came out of no where. Now I know the news could be wrong and I do not understand how they could tell from the pictures. I think all digital cameras record the time a picture is taken so maybe they are able to tell exactly what happened.
There have been many reports of bears getting braver and more aggressive the last two years. Maybe because of the draught they do not have the food they use to have. ( I am just guessing) Actually there have been reports for the last few years that all wild animals are getting more aggressive. Some believe it is part of the birthing pains told about in the Bible as we get closer to our Lord returning. I do not know if this is it or not.
I do know people do things they should not do and maybe they provoked the bear maybe someone else did but I am not going to accuse them when I was not there to see.
We saw a bear (finally) on the same day as the attack, but it was in Cades Cove. I couldn't believe though how many people got out of their cars and climbed up a hill and ran towards it. There must have been at least 9 or 10 of them doing this. Why would anyone do that? I mean, we have been waiting to see a bear in the Smokies for many years, and I'm glad that we finally did, but I would never get out and chase the thing. They are in their own habitat and shouldn't be disturbed like that.
I know that this wasn't the case in this bear attack with the poor little boy, they were just hiking and minding their own business. But it really bugged me that people did that in Cades Cove, it just sort of took the beauty of the whole thing away. We have been on the look-out for a bear for a long time, and this wasn't how we pictured it would be when we finally did spot one.
There...now I got that off my chest. Besides that...YAY we finally saw a bear!