Tennessee Black Bear Euthanized After Attacking Gatlinburg Man in Cabin

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

A man is currently recovering after he was attacked by a black bear inside a Gatlinburg, Tennessee cabin over the weekend.

WKRN reports that the man was vacationing in Gatlinburg when a black bear entered his cabin and charged at home. Wildlife officers said the animal entered through a set of locked but not dead-bolted French doors. The bear then charged at the man and caused injuries to his head and scratched him across the back while he was retreating to the bedroom to call 9-1-1. 

Following the black bear attack, the man refused medical treatment by responding emergency personnel. However, he was later driven to a hospital nearby by a family member. His injuries were treated and he was released. 

Meanwhile, wildlife officials stated that a trap was set at the scene and a black bear fitting the description was caught. The 209 lbs female was euthanized early afternoon on Sunday (October 23rd). Officials also took hair samples for DNA analysis. The bear’s claws also were swabbed for human hemoglobin testing. Results from both tests are expected later this week. 

Tennessee Wildlife Officials Urge Those Living or Vacationing in Black Bear-Inhabitated Areas to use BearWise Techniques

Wildlife officials further suggested that those living or vacationing in bear-inhabited areas within the state are to practice BearWise techniques in order to avoid bears searching for food. 

The basics for the BearWise techniques are pretty straightforward. It’s important that humans never feed or approach black bears. “Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more.”

It is also important for those in the black bear-inhabited areas to properly secure food, garbage, and recycling. This is due to food and food orders attracting bears. Bird feeders may attract large animals as well so removing them is advised. Along with properly storing food, pet food is to remain indoors. Alert those around the area that a black bear is nearby. 

Bear-resistant products such as a secured dumpster may also keep animals from coming close to homes. Electrical fencing is another product that will keep the large mammals from causing structural damage to chicken coops. It will also keep them out of the yard in general.

An “unwelcome” mat is also suggested. The description reads, “Unwelcome mats are sheets of plywood with sharp nails or screw points sticking through that make it impossible for a bear to stand or walk. The purpose is to keep a bear from standing in front of a door or window and using its weight and dexterity to break through into a building.”

Keep in mind the mat has to be wide enough to keep a bear from leaning from one edge. This will prevent the animal from reaching a door knob, hasp, or window latch.