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..


TFWC September Meeting To Be Held In Nashville

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will take action on changes in the commercial fishing proclamation among its agenda at its Sept. 18-19 meeting. The commission will hold its September meeting at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. on Sept. 18, while formal session is Sept. 19, beginning at 9 ... (click for more)

Application Period Underway For WMA Waterfowl Hunts

The application period for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s 2014 Wildlife Management Area waterfowl hunts is now underway. The application period will be accepted until midnight (CDT) Oct. 1. A computerized drawing system will be held to selected successful applicants based on the priority drawing system. Applications will be accepted until midnight Oct. 1.   ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)