By Associated Press - Saturday, September 12, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Hikers found a man’s remains scattered near a campsite in the North Carolina portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a bear lurked nearby, rangers said Saturday.

After finding an unoccupied tent Friday, the backpackers saw what appeared to be human remains scattered across a nearby creek, “with a bear scavenging in the area,” rangers said in a news release.

The hikers quickly left to get cell coverage and reported what they encountered to authorities, rangers said.

Rangers said the remains were found near Hazel Creek Trail.

The News & Observer reports that law enforcement rangers and wildlife officers were dispatched to the site immediately after the emergency call came in just after 7 p.m. Friday

“Staff arrived at campsite 82 shortly after midnight and confirmed the report of a deceased adult human male,” the news release said.

Rangers said they also saw a bear “actively scavenging on the remains” and euthanized the animal.

Park officials were trying to notify the man’s family Saturday before releasing his name. They said he was from out of state.

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