- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - A Smokies backcountry shelter is closed after a camper was bitten by a bear.

According to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bradley Veeder, of Las Vegas, was sleeping in a tent near the Spence Field Backcounty Shelter on Tuesday when he was bitten in the leg through his tent.

The bear was scared away, and Veeder and other campers gathered in the shelter for the night. But the bear returned and tore through Veeder’s tent and another vacant tent.

Veeder was transported out of the backcountry and taken to the hospital in the afternoon.

Wildlife staff has been stationed near the shelter to monitor bear activity.

Park officials say bears should never be fed, and all food waste should be properly disposed of to discourage bears from approaching people.

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