Man Bitten By Bear In National Park

A bear that bit a hiker last week has been killed by animal management staff, park officials said.

The year-old female bear was found, tranquilized and killed on Saturday.

It had approached a hiker who dozed off on a rock, and bit his leg when the man awoke.

The name of the 65-year-old man from Dove Canyon who was bit on
Sept. 6 was not released.

But park official said he fell asleep near Mist Falls after a four-mile hike, and awoke when observers started yelling to warn him he was being approached by a bear.

He was bit in the thigh, sustaining a number of puncture wounds where the bear's upper teeth pierced his skin, according to park rangers.

The hiker yelled and gestured in an attempt to scare the bear away, but the animal didn't leave the area until several people helped frighten him.

Park rangers reiterated the importance of not feeding bears and other wild animals.

They regularly inform visitors how to avoid attracting their attention.

Doing so protects both the animals and the people in the park, they said.

"It is regrettable and frustrating to have to destroy an animal for following its natural instincts to look for easy food sources," said Wildlife Ecologist Harold Werner.

"It is sad that it has come to this, but this situation could not end any other way."

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