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..


Invasive Zebra Mussels Found In Cherokee Lake

An invasive species has made its way into Cherokee Lake threatening to disrupt the lake’s ecosystem and clog the lake with harmful and unsightly mussel colonies. Last month, an angler fishing near the TWRA boat ramp at Olen Marshall Bridge in Bean Station discovered what he believed to be zebra mussels.  He contacted the TWRA office and biologists were able to positively ... (click for more)

Photo Contest Underway For 2015-16 Tennessee Wildlife Calendar Issue

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is now accepting entries for its 2014-15 photo contest for publication in the Tennessee Wildlife Magazine’s annual calendar issue. All interested photographers are invited to submit their best photos on fishing and wildlife species native to Tennessee, and fishing and hunting scenes in Tennessee. Interested photographers must submit ... (click for more)

TVA Sues Cleveland's Allan Jones Over Dock, Retaining Wall, Boat Ramp, Boathouse On Hiwassee River

TVA has sued Cleveland, Tn., Check Into Cash millionaire W. Allan Jones Jr. over the construction of a dock, retaining wall, boat ramp and boathouse on the Hiwassee River. In the lawsuit in Federal Court, TVA said it told Mr. Jones before the construction was finished that he was on TVA property. The complaint says he has refused to move the construction from the river. ... (click for more)

Bobby Dodd Lawsuit Against City Moved To Federal Court

A lawsuit brought by former Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd against the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund over his pension has been moved to Federal Court. The lawsuit was earlier filed in Chancery Court by attorneys Jerry Tidwell and Adam Izell. The suit says former Chief Dodd opted for a plan that would have half of his pension go to ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)