KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — DNA tests have confirmed that the bear which was caught and euthanized by wildlife officers was responsible for attacking a man inside his Gatlinburg rental cabin.
A 209-pound female bear was caught and euthanized Sunday after a man suffered injuries to his head and back when the bear entered his rental cabin on Red Bud Lane late Saturday.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Black Bear Coordinator Dan Gibbs said in a statement Thursday that DNA collected from the cabin matched samples taken from the bear that was caught the following day.
Rabies testing was also conducted but was negative. TWRA said the trapping efforts in the area have since been discontinued.
TWRA also said in the statement that a Gatlinburg Police Department investigation found that the bear did not break through the French doors at the cabin, but was able to push them open as they were not properly secured. An initial release on the incident said the doors were locked but not deadbolted.
Two trails near the cabin were closed on Oct. 26 due to “a large concentration of black bears” according to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
In June, officials were forced to euthanize a black bear in Wears Valley that attacked a home. A total of 5 bears died that month — 4 bears were euthanized after showing aggressive behavior toward people and 1 was found dead of heat stroke in a car parked in Sevierville.
Wildlife officials implore people living or vacationing in bear-inhabited areas to practice BearWise techniques to avoid attracting bears in search of food.