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"NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Rangers at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park euthanized a bear after finding it scavenging on a man's body discovered at a backcountry campsite, the park said in a statement Saturday.

Hikers found the body at campsite 82 near the Hazel Creek Trail Friday afternoon. The statement said the hikers first saw an unoccupied tent at the campsite and later found the body across a nearby creek.

The park said the hikers left to get cell service and notified rangers around 7 p.m. Friday night.
"Law enforcement rangers and wildlife officers were immediately dispatched to the scene. Staff arrived at campsite 82 shortly after midnight and confirmed the report of a deceased adult human male," the statement said.
The man who was found dead in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday was identified as 43-year-old Patrick Madura from Elgin, Illinois, the park said.

After seeing the bear scavenging on the remains, the rangers killed the bear.

GSMNP spokesperson Jamie Sanders said killing a bear is always a difficult decision, but in this case, rangers knew it was the right thing to do."
 

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I've heard that they have to do this, because once it's eaten human flesh, it may keep trying to do so?

Not a good situation all around.
 

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I've heard that they have to do this, because once it's eaten human flesh, it may keep trying to do so?

Not a good situation all around.
I sincerely doubt the validity of that. I feel that's like an old wive's tale, and haven't seen any study on it that would prove it.

What a bear WILL do is keep coming back to a source of easy food. So if you have a cabin full of unarmed 5th graders alone in the woods, and a bear is hungry enough, of course he's going to keep coming back because why not? It's because it's easy and doesn't pose a threat, not because it's a cabin full of humans.
 

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It's because it's easy and doesn't pose a threat, not because it's a cabin full of humans.
There's no difference to the bear.
 

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We have a lot more hikers than we do bears. I think a bear should be allowed two maybe three hikers every year. Just to keep things interesting.
 

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We have a lot more hikers than we do bears. I think a bear should be allowed two maybe three hikers every year. Just to keep things interesting.
The "hikers" who bring their dogs unleashed (in spite of the signs), while wearing flip flops and pushing granny in a wheel chair down a "moderate" trail, might fit the profile.
All it takes is a dark shadow and the snap of a twig and they and their dog scurry off the path while digging in their purse for a cell phone camera. Poochie gets there first and by the time Karen shows up, they realize they just walked up on Momma Bear and her three cubs. Something similarto this also happened in the GSMNP once upon a time.
I think they were able to recover the camera.
 

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Not that all hikers are missing the clue chromosome; I hike and I'm not nearly as dumb as my wife makes me out to be.
But visiting my sister in Arizona, we will sometimes head up to the Grand Canyon, and it seems they have daily rescues down the Bright Angel Trail. It is to the point that she remarked they have staff and resources dedicated to retrieving the numbskulls daily that traverse a rocky path in 100 degree heat, with no water, no hat, poor shoes, staring at cellphones while walking along the edge of steep trails.
 

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Black bear?
 

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For the most part, black bears shy away from humans, but those that don’t can be a problem. Years back there was a problem bear in the BWCA that was attacking campers. Much of the time they become a problem because people leave them easy access to food.
As far as scavenging goes, even house cats have been known to scavenge their owner that died in the home.
 

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I sincerely doubt the validity of that. I feel that's like an old wive's tale, and haven't seen any study on it that would prove it.

What a bear WILL do is keep coming back to a source of easy food. So if you have a cabin full of unarmed 5th graders alone in the woods, and a bear is hungry enough, of course he's going to keep coming back because why not? It's because it's easy and doesn't pose a threat, not because it's a cabin full of humans.
It is absolutely a thing. Predators are relatively ingrained with what is appropriate prey. Extreme hunger, opportunity, and possibly cases of mistaken identity encourage the broadening of the menu. Most will display fear towards a foreign prey species, simply a fear of the unknown. But once eaten, they will actively seek out, or even specialize in a foreign prey species.

Most predators spend quite a bit of time under parental guidance, if mom acts frightened around the pink things with the noisy sticks, junior follows suit. It will get handed down for generations. Coyotes are terrified of dogs in places that they are actively pursued by dogs. In places that they are not, they will actively defend territory against dogs, or possibly prey on dogs as we see in some cities. Takes generations to change menus. But it starts with the first guy that tries the food and survives. How many of us would not eat some foods without a mom holding a spoon telling us to try it because we will like it?

Most of the big cat depredation on humans in recent recorded history was a result of an abundance of human flesh laying around. Railroad workers who passed from rampant disease outbreaks were tossed in the woods, at the same time that professional hunters depleted local wildlife to feed railroad workers. Created a perfect storm. The tales of wolf depredation on humans all roughly correspond with the plague. Many instances of livestock depredation start with improperly disposed of or poorly managed livestock.

This is why wildlife biologists have a standing policy to kill wildlife that has eaten humans. Assuming that was a sow, if she took her cubs on an active tent raid to procure food in the future, and they raised cubs, and so on, you could have an area where bears actively sought out and ate humans, as many predators that are still around did centuries ago with much more frequency according to the fossil record, and folklore. Even if it was a boar, adolescent bears have a tendency to track other bears to food sources and eat leftovers.
 
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I have read that you are more likely to survive a Grizzly attack than a Black Bear attack, because black bears typically feed on their kills with more frequency than Grizzlies. Grizzlies attack many times because they have no fear of humans, cubs are threatened, territorial response, etc. With Black Bears, on the rare instances that they do attack, it is more calculated and driven by a desire to feed. Most territorial and cub defense activity will stop with at most a bluff charge, usually just some tooth popping and huffing. When they actually make contact, it's because they are hungry.
 
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