Next time I may not feel quite so safe inside the tent!
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK – A bear bit a sleeping Appalachian Trail thru-hiker Tuesday night in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The 49-year-old man was sleeping in his tent near Spence Field shelter when the bear bit him in the lower leg through the tent, according to park spokesperson Dana Soehn.
The victim was able to immediately scare the bear away.
The injured hiker and other nearby campers then gathered in the back country shelter for the rest of the night.
Soehn told 10News the bear returned at some point and tore through two vacant tents, including the one belonging to the injured hiker.
A Park Wildlife Technician and a Park Ranger responded to the scene early Wednesday morning. They transported the injured hiker by horse. The hiker had some swelling and pain in the lower leg.
The shelter is now closed and the wildlife technician is remaining on site to see if the bear returns again, Soehn said.