Bear Euthanized After Missing Ginsing Hunter Discovered Scavenged

A black bear was euthanized after it hindered recovery efforts of the body of a man missing for more than four days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Bear Euthanized After Missing Ginsing Hunter Discovered Scavenged

A black bear was euthanized after harassing recovery efforts of the body of a man missing for more than four days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Park officials said the adult male bear later was captured in a trap and euthanized. It had harassed park rangers' recovery efforts of the body of William Lee Hill Jr., 30, of Louisville, Tenn., for hours on Sept. 11. The body was discovered about two miles north of Cades Cove, one of the most popular public areas in the nation's most-visited national park.

Authorities said Hill's body showed "evidence of wildlife scavenging." Tests on the bear after it was trapped revealed human DNA. Black bears live in and outside of the park, and are among the animals visitors enjoy watching along with deer, turkeys and others.

“While the cause of Mr. Hill’s death is unknown at this time, after gathering initial evidence, consulting with other wildlife professionals and careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to euthanize this bear out of concern for the safety of park visitors and local residents,” park superintendent Cassius Cash said in a press release.

Hill and a friend, Joshua Morgan, went to the park on Friday, Sept. 7, and reportedly became separated during the day. Hill's disappearance and lack of communication to anyone was first reported to park officials on Sunday.

 

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