Apr 15, 2006

Game Officials Hunt Bear that Killed Ohio Girl


Left: Elora Petrasek, 6, died Thursday when she was attacked by a black bear

(Nashville, TN) Game wardens in a remote Tennessee forest set traps baited with sardines and doughnuts to lure a bear that attacked an Ohio family, killing a 6-year-old girl and mauling her mother and 2-year-old brother.

The 350-pound black bear killed 6-year-old Elora Petrasek and critically injured her 2-year-old brother, Luke, and her mother, Susan Cenkus.

The attack occurred in the Cherokee National Forest in southeastern Tennessee. The family was at a pool below Benton Falls on Chilhowee Mountain when the bear attacked, according to state officials.

The Clyde, Ohio family was among several groups of visitors viewing a waterfall when some of the children reported seeing a bear on the trail ahead.

Adults in the party were trying to drive the 350- to 400-pound bear off the trail when it attacked, biting Luke Cenkus's head and puncturing his skull.

Witnesses said that the bear picked up the boy in its mouth while the mother and other visitors tried to fend it off with sticks and rocks. The mother and the boy were critically injured and flown to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.
Left: American black bear, similar to the type that attacked Ohio family

The girl apparently ran away, and almost an hour passed before rescuer Danny Stinnett found the bear hovering over her body about 100 yards off the trail. He fired a handgun to scare off the bear before finding the lifeless body of young Elora.

"There is a chance that the same bear would attack someone else, so I hope they do catch him," said Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn.

Experts say that the best recourse if charged by a black bear is to fight back. Use whatever gear you have close on hand attempt to injure it such that it no longer finds you worth the fight. In particular, aim for the nose, as this is the most sensitive part of the bear.


Anonymous said...

How sad - a family camping trip all screwed up

Timothy said...

OMG! I've been to those very same falls, and they are a good 3-4 miles ways away from anything. This is truly horrible.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Sad story indeed, too bad the parents didn't do a little bear/kids education before taking children into the bear's domain.