Woman Killed by Bear in Tennessee

Monday, May 22nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — A woman waiting for her ex-husband on a trail at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was killed by a black bear.

Glenda Ann Bradley, 50, of Cosby was mauled Sunday, becoming the first person killed by a black bear in a federal park or reserve in the Southeast, park officials said.

``This was simply an unprovoked attack,'' Phil Francis, the park's acting superintendent, said Monday.

Bradley, an experienced hiker, and Ralph Hill, 52, entered the park about noon. The couple, who had been reconciling, hiked about 10 miles from Gatlinburg.

Hill told authorities he left Bradley on the trail to go fishing. He returned about an hour later to find her backpack on the trail and two black bears — an adult female and a yearling — at her body about 50 yards away. The 111-pound adult bear apparently killed the woman.

Two rangers shot and killed the animals.

Rangers had tagged the adult bear in 1998 and had placed an orphaned cub with her. Miller said the animal wasn't known as a problem bear.

The bears were to be tested to determine whether a disease or physical condition prompted the attack.

About 1,800 bears live in the Smokies. No other attacks have been reported this year.

Park officials have closed some campsites through Saturday as a precaution.