Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Black Bear attacks Child and injures father in Great Smoky Mountains national park

A black bear attacked and injured a child in the Roaring Fork area of the Great Smoky Mountains national park just outside the city of Gatlinburg Tennessee yesterday evening.

Evan Pala the 8 year old child who was attacked by the black bear is from Boca Raton Florida was about 1,000 feet north of playing along Le Conte Creek where it has been reported the child was attacked twice by what was probably a 55 pound yearling male black bear.

Evan Pala sustained puncture wounds along with non-life-threatening cuts and scratches and the boys father John Pala also sustained some minor injuries himself while he was driving the Black bear away from his child with sticks and rocks.

The injured child and his father were both transported to Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center in Sevierville TN by a Gatlinburg Ambulance for treatment.

Great Smoky Mountain national park rangers found a bear that matched the father's description that was acting aggressively toward them so they shot and killed the black bear which has been transported to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center where it can be determined if this is the bear that attacked the child.

Black bear attacks in the Great Smoky Mountain National park are extremely rare although black bear encounters happen every day on the park. Though I travel extensively on the front country and backcountry of the park, other than on the Cades Cove Loop I seem to have the most bear encounters on average in the Roaring Fork Area.

To reduce your chance for an unpleasant bear encounter or attack by a black bear in the Great Smoky Mountains national park it is a good idea to follow black bear safety rules.

Recent Bear attacks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Anonymous said...

Wasn't there, but seems likely the kid could have tried to pet or feed it. Black bears just don't attack, especially unprovoked.

Scott said...

Animals are always unpredictable, they do have a mind of there own. In areas where humans and bears overlap as heavy as they do in GSMNP the unpredictable animal is more likely than ever and the animals are truly more dangerous than animals in the back countries and wilderness areas. Overlap bear tend to loose there instinctive nature to get away from humans. And they know human scent means food is nearby. If the child had something as simple as potatoechip scent on him to an overlap bear this may be all it took. When in the park we must learn to respect the rules, somthing most Americans could care less about anymore.

Anonymous said...

How close was the father when this all happened? Had he allowed his child to get ahead of him? If so it is MORE his fault that that of the bear. I have great respect for the bears, but you can bet your butt I watch what I am doing and where I am going EVEN in the camp ground.I am crippled and running out of the question for me, but I also know that running is the last thing you want to do.I am a large guy and always have a good stout cane with to support my weight should I loose my balance or I have two hiking poles and know how to use them. I like the bears, but I am not about to become dinner for one. Just watch what you are doing and your surroundings and you should be OK, always have a plan running thru your mind just in case. I have, by the way worked and lived way up the Rio Negro in Brazil and I only had one close encounter in four months and that was with a Fur de lance. I was watching what I was doing zo I had no problem. the snake did not make it.