Teen boy pulled from hammock by bear survives

Credit: R.E. Barber Photography via Flickr

Usually a nightmare camping story involves mosquitoes, a downpour and a leaky tent. An Ohio teen and his dad can top any of those tales.

Gabriel Alexander, 16, and his father, Greg, were camping in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park Saturday, June 6, when Gabriel was pulled by a bear from the hammock in which he was sleeping.

According to reports, the bear had Gabriel by the head and was dragging him across the campsite.

"I just felt a lot of pain in my scalp. ... I thought maybe it was a wild dog," Gabriel told The Citizen-Times (Asheville, N.C.) from his hospital bed. "I was afraid."

Reports indicate Gabriel’s father managed to scare the bear off, and the pair hiked to a nearby lake, where they woke campers who had a boat. Once across the lake, they were able to call 911 for help.

Park officials say the attack was unprovoked, and that Gabriel and his dad – experienced campers – had properly stored their food and equipment. The bear believed responsible for the attack was euthanized, however several trails and campsites are closed in the area while the attack is investigated.

Gabriel, of Athens, Ohio, suffered deep wounds to his scalp and face but is expected to make a full recovery.

This story, "Teen boy pulled from hammock by bear survives" was originally published by Fritterati.