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
- Bear Attacks Camper: Campsite 84 Hazel Creek NC 6/7/2015
- Hiker bitten by black bear: Laurel Falls Hiking Trail 5/17/2010
- Child attacked by bear: Rainbow Falls Hiking Trial 8/12/2008
- Woman Killed by 2 bear: Little River Hiking Trail 5/21/2000