Euthanized Bear Not Responsible for Attack on Athens Teen

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – Officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park say DNA results show a euthanized bear was not responsible for an attack on a 16-year-old boy.

However, the park says rangers believe they shot the bear that attacked the boy and it may have died.

The parks closed several trails and backcountry campsites after Gabriel Alexander of Athens, Ohio, was attacked by a black bear on June 6 in the Hazel Creek section of the part in North Carolina.

He received multiple injuries, including lacerations to the head, but was expected to recover. Officials said the teenager was with his father, who was able to drive the bear from the area.

Park officials say they continue to search the area, which remains closed, but there hasn’t been any further bear activity.