Chilhowee Bear Attack Kills Child

Thursday, April 13, 2006
Attacks on humans by black bears are extremely rare.  There are only  52 known fatal black bear attacks in North America in the last 100 years. <i>click photo to enlarge</i>
Attacks on humans by black bears are extremely rare. There are only 52 known fatal black bear attacks in North America in the last 100 years. click photo to enlarge

A black bear attacked a family of three in Polk County, Tennessee, killing a 6-year-old girl, and seriously injuring a 2-year-old boy and the children's mother. They have been airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center and are listed in critical condition.

The attack happened late Thursday afternoon in the Cherokee National Forest, at the Chilhowee campground.

The family was visiting from Ohio. According to Dan Hicks, a spokesperson with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, it was around 4 pm when the bear walked up to the family near Benton Falls. Everyone started throwing rocks and yelling at the bear to get it to go away. Instead the bear picked up the 2 year old boy and began to maul him.

The boy's mother beat the bear off her son and she was attacked. During the confusion the 6 year old girl ran away. The bear ran away as well.

A search began for the girl. She was found dead 100 yards away. Hicks said her injuries were consistant with a bear attack.

The bear was still in the area and was fired on by officers. However they're not sure if the bear was wounded or not and the hunt for the bear continues.

Attacks on humans by black bears are extremely rare. In May of 2000 a 50-year-old woman was killed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"As far as we know, it's the first one (fatal attack) in the Southeast," said Nancy Gray, a spokesperson for the park at that time. "It's very rare for a black bear. They're just not as aggressive as grizzlies."

In that case Park Rangers killed two black bears found near the body of Glenda Bradley after they were notified of the attack.

There are only 52 known fatal black bear attacks in North America in the last 100 years..


Red Clay State Historic Park Survey Available Through March 27

The survey asking for community input regarding the amenities at   Red Clay State Historic Park is available through March 27. The survey is specifically designed for overall park visitors. Officials are asking for the public's assistance in helping TDEC get the word out about this particular survey.  Tennessee State Parks is interested in finding out what park visitors ... (click for more)

Nashville Frogwatch Is Subject For Nature @ Noontime Program In April

Lisa Powers, founding president of the Tennessee Herpetological Society and co-coordinator for the Nashville Zoo’s FrogWatch Program, will be the featured speaker for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s April Nature @ Noontime. The program will be held on Thursday, April 2 at the TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building located in the Ellington Agriculture Complex. In addition, ... (click for more)

Robber Is Shot By Victim In Attempted Robbery On East 43rd Street

One person was shot during a robbery attempt at 4314 Rossville Blvd. around 1:50 p.m. on Thursday.  The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating the robbery that ended in a shooting near East 43rd St. at Miller Auto Sales.  The robbery victim shot the suspect.  The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries. Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Fire On Crutchfield Street Ruled Arson

Chattanooga fire investigators have determined that last Thursday’s fire at 1207 Crutchfield St.  that nearly killed four people was deliberately set. Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said he cannot divulge the reason why he thinks it’s arson, but he is asking for help from the public. If anyone has information that can help solve this case, call ... (click for more)

The Problems With Prescription Drug Addiction

In Tennessee today, we have a major problem with prescription drug addiction, particularly when powerful opioid pain relievers are concerned.    For the first time in 2012, Tennesseans abused prescription opioid drugs more than alcohol.  Our young people ages 18-25 abuse prescription opioids at a 30 percent higher rate than the national average.  In just five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Hillman Of Bihar

In the year of our Lord, 1927, there was a very poor child born to a very poor family in a very poor place. His name was Dasrath Manjhi and he was a native of the Musahar community somewhere in India. We know he had no education and, as a member of the lowest Hindu scheduled castes, he didn’t have a cut dog’s chance from the very get go. But after spending considerable time in ... (click for more)