- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - A hiker says he was bitten by a bear as he slept along the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn tells local media that the 49-year-old hiker told authorities in Graham County, North Carolina, he was sleeping in a tent Tuesday night near the Spence Field Shelter when a bear bit him on the leg through the tent.

The victim was able to scare the bear away.

Soehn says the bear returned at some point and tore through two vacant tents, including the one belonging to the victim.

Park rangers took the injured hiker out of the backcountry by horseback and then took him to a hospital.

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