Teen Attacked by Bear While Sleeping on Hammock at Campsite

PHOTO: The campsite where a 16-year-old was attacked by a bear at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The campsite where a 16-year-old was attacked by a bear at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A teenage boy was in a North Carolina hospital today after a bear pulled him out of a hammock and attacked him, officials said.

The 16-year-old and his father were asleep Saturday night at a campsite in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which spans from eastern Tennessee to western North Carolina.

They were in hammocks about 10 feet apart when the bear pulled the teenager from his hammock and attacked him, the park said in a news release.

The boy remained conscious during the attack, the park said, but suffered injuries including lacerations to his head.

The teen's father drove the bear away, the park said.

The boy was taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, early this morning. He's in stable condition, the park said today.

"While incidents with bears are rare, we ask park visitors to take necessary precautions while hiking in bear country and comply with all backcountry closures," Cassius Cash, superintendent of the park, said in the news release.

According to the park, the father and son had properly stored all food and equipment.

The park has closed several trails and campsites in the area as the attack is investigated.