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Hikers discovered Patrick Madura's body Friday afternoon. The cause of death is unknown, the park said.
"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."