A group of hikers came upon a gory scene on Friday when they discovered a bear scavenging human remains at a campsite in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The body parts were scattered around the campsite near Hazel Creek Trail when the hikers found them and spotted the bear roaming near the remains.
The witnesses searched for an area with cellular services to call 911 and report their grisly discovery.
“Staff arrived at campsite 82 shortly after midnight and confirmed the report of a deceased adult human male,” police said.
The victim was later identified as 43-year-old Patrick Madura from Elgin, Illinois. His official cause of death remains is being investigated.
National Park Service Officials confirmed that the involved bear has since been euthanized after being caught “actively scavenging on the remains.”
“Our wildlife biologists, who are experts in human-bear conflicts, believe that once a bear has scavenged on the remains of humans that they pose a real serious risk of doing that behavior again,” spokeswoman Jamie Sanders said.
“We never want bears to associate people with food.”