When paramedics arrived about 20 minutes later, they found Elora Petrasek a short distance away, the bear hovering over her mauled body. Located in the Chilhowee Recreation Area, Chilhowee Campground offers a multitude of camping opportunities for both RV and tent sites, many with electric hookups. First published on April 14, 2006 / 8:49 AM. The most strenuous part is a set of stairs leading down to the gorgeous tiered waterfall. I can't think of any time other than, just really rare circumstances," said Monty Williams, park ranger. But in the excitement, Elora disappeared. … The attack occurred about 4:20 p.m., according to Polk County dispatcher Gary Verner. Turn right into Chilhowee Day Use Area. "We don't know whether the bear was hit or not. All Rights Reserved. It was April 13, 2006, when Susan Cenkus from Ohio went on a hike to Benton Falls in the Cherokee National Forest in Polk County. "Allegedly, after the rescue squad found the little girl, one of the squad members fired a shot from a small caliber handgun," Hicks said Friday. Benton Falls (Reliance, TN) round trip length – 3 miles; difficulty – easy; region – southern; The majority of this trail is smooth and sandy which makes it a great all ages hike. "They suffered a lot of puncture wound injuries consistent with a bear attack," Mr. Hicks said. or west from Ducktown TN. The trail is one and a half miles to the falls. The bear scaled a fence and picked Luke Cenkus up by the head, holding the toddler aloft, Hicks said. It is wide enough for two people to easily hike side by side. The attack came Thursday afternoon in the Cherokee National Forest in southeastern Tennessee. The bear was euthanized and there have been no problems since. Doctors at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga say Susan Cenkus has soft tissue injuries to her upper and lower extremities that will require additional surgeries. Mr. Hicks said the attack came shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday as the family enjoyed the water pooled at the base of Benton Falls along with other families. The bear killed a 6-year-old girl and seriously injured her mother and brother. Located in the Chilhowee Recreation Area, Chilhowee Campground offers more than 70 campsites, electric hookups, RV sites, tent-only sites and multiple bathhouses.The campground is usually open from early April to late October, with an overflow area and day use area open year-round. Unaka Ranger District (8a-4:30p M-F) 4900 Asheville Highway Greeneville TN 37743 (423) 638-4109 (423) 638-6599 (Fax) Ocoee Ranger District (8a-4:30p M-F) 3171 Highway 64 Benton TN 37307-5823 (423) 338-3300 (423) 338-6577 (Fax) The girl's death is only the second confirmed fatal black bear attack in Tennessee, the U.S. Forest Service said. SLIDESHOW: Images From Report | … Leashed dogs are permitted on the trail. The bear scaled a fence … Enjoy lots of mountain flora (rhododendron) along the trail. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/tennessee/goforth-creek-trail The Forest Service temporarily closed the Chilhowee Recreation Area and the Parksville Campground, as well as several roads and trails in the vicinity of the attack. Located on the Benton Falls Trail in the Overhill country of south eastern tennessee. Authorities say finding and killing the bear is the priority. While visiting a waterfall, the three were attacked by a black bear. The attack came Thursday afternoon in the Cherokee National Forest in southeastern Tennessee. On April 13, 2006, Susan Cenkus and her children were hiking near the Chilhowee Campground near Benton Falls when a 200-pound black bear grabbed her 2-year … (CNN) -- Authorities captured a bear Sunday that they suspect was responsible for the mauling of an Ohio family in the rugged mountains of eastern Tennessee, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman said. Sun, Apr 17 - Lady Slipper Trail, CNF-4 mi M, off trail. There was no blood, but it chased it off.". The 640,000-acre park runs along the Tennessee-North Carolina line southwest of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “There was no thinking. When the bear attacked, the 6-year-old girl ran away, authorities said. Chillhowee Mountain is one of the larger mountains in the Ocoee River Basin and is easily accessible by vehicle by driving up Forest Road 77. © 2006 The Associated Press. You just may have to deal with a good amount of mud on the way. Black bears usually avoid humans. This was one of only two recorded fatal bear attacks in Tennessee, so the odds of harm by a bear are low, but follow all suggestions on the bear-awareness signs. Wildlife experts meet in East Tennessee for bear attack response training. The Benton Falls Trail lies at the heart of the 25-mile trail network in the Chilhowee Recreation Area, and connects directly to the highly sought-after Slick Rock Loops for … She may have been trying to run away when she was caught, Hicks said. 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Some states want to buy their own vaccines. We hike in the Smokies and I always wonder how close any bears are! Wildlife officers planned to put out more traps Friday morning, he said. Luke Cenkus, whose skull was punctured, was in stable condition after surgery, doctors said. Authorities hunted Friday for a black bear that picked up a 2-year-old boy in its mouth and mauled his mother, critically injuring them before killing the child's older sister. Tracy Boulian/The Plain Dealer Susan Cenkus and … The day-use area includes McKamy Lake, a swim area with sand beach, picnic sites, a group picnic area, and a bathhouse. Chilhowee Campground, Tennessee - Camping & Campgrounds. (Watch ranger perplexed by attack -- 2:44). Her 6-year-old daughter, Elora, and 2-year-old son, Luke, were along for what began as a leisurely walk in the woods. Officials want to know if an illness might explain its behavior. Rangers said black bears rarely attack humans and that the animal may have been suffering from a disease that affected its behavior. "It's a pretty rare thing, black bears generally don't attack people. The attack took place at Benton Falls near the Chilhowee Recreation Area, about 22 miles east of Cleveland, Tennessee. The attack occurred yesterday afternoon at a mountain pool below Benton Falls near a campground. This road is approximat… And then they came running back saying there’s a bear," Mr. Hicks said. There are several overlooks to pull off and enjoy with long range views of the mountains and Parksville Lake. Her brother, Luke Cenkus, 2, was hospitalized in stable condition. This was a great experience for my family. Biden administration says no. to air tonight. Benton Falls hike is an easy trail that can be done by people of all ages. Animal Planet: Story of bear attack in Cherokee N.F. CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more. on Highway 64. A popular destination especially in summer, Benton Falls offers a lot of reward with a little effort. Rangers were not certain the captured bear is the one that attacked the family, but its size led officials to believe they caught the bear they had been seeking, she said. In a written statement asking for privacy, the family called Thursday's events "understandably very difficult for the entire family to cope with.". It is ashame, but these things do happen when you are in the woods where Black Bears roam. of Education extends student loan payment freeze, Who leads federal agencies until Senate confirms Biden's nominees, Climate activists expect a lot from Biden and aren't afraid to say so, Joe Biden's "Day One" actions and his promises for his first 100 days, 30-year-old secret reveals real killer just before start of murder trial. The attack took place at Benton Falls near the Chilhowee Recreation Area, about 22 miles east of Cleveland, Tennessee. This trail presents an easy downhill on the way in. As adults tried to scare the bear away it ran in … The trail is well marked and the falls themselves are beautiful and have a unique look. Issues of Time. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/tennessee/benton-falls-trail "It was off the trail to Benton Falls, where some kids had seen a bear earlier," Mr. Hicks said. Be safe and we will see you all Wednesday night. Associated Press - May 3, 2008 12:05 PM ET CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio woman who survived a black bear attack that killed her 6-year-old daughter in 2006 has returned to the Cherokee National Forest. He will be giving a powerpoint presentation which will include information on the bear attack at Benton Falls and the 2009 electrocution of a young man who climbed a high tension tower. Will Biden ease the sky-high tension between the U.S. and China? There's a $3 day-use fee per vehicle to use the recreation area. Mrs. Cenkus and her children were hiking near the Chilhowee Campground near Benton Falls on April 13, 2006, when the bear attacked Luke, then 2. Benton Falls Trail is an easy 1.5 mile (each way) hike to the 65 foot waterfall. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Rescuers found the girl's body about 100 yards down the trail from the falls. And if you go after a good rain the falls will be quite powerful. As they were leaving the area around the waterfalls a bear was sighted near the trail. Witnesses told authorities the bear picked up the boy in its mouth while the mother and other visitors tried to fend it off with sticks and rocks, said Dan Hicks, a spokesman for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Bald River Falls (Tellico Plains, TN) round trip … My wife and I have hiked to Benton Falls where the attack occured. Susan took the two youngest children to Benton Falls, a popular destination in the the Cherokee National Forest, not far from Cleveland. Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Richard Taylor with TEMA Search and Rescue will be the guest speaker for the April 14 meeting. How Trump's second trial could be different from the first. The rare attack by a black bear occurred Thursday during the family's outing to a waterfall in a remote part of the Cherokee National Forest. The attack, by an adult black bear, occurred at a waterfall in Cherokee National Forest, in the state's far southeastern corner. Researchers are developing stickers for masks to detect COVID, California Privacy/Information We Collect. Glena Ann Bradley, a schoolteacher from Cosby, was attacked by two female bears when she took a walk on a trail near a Smoky Mountains campground. Rescuers later found her lifeless body near the falls--mauled by the bear. A three-day effort to trap the animal ended at noon Sunday when rangers found a bear in one of eight traps they had set across the recreation area, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Sharon Moore said. PLEASE NOTE: This is an information and administrative office located in Cleveland, TN and is not actually in the forest. Hike to the beautiful Benton Falls in the Cherokee National Forest on this easy out-and-back hike that's good for kids and dogs. The trail ends at Benton Falls, which is a 65-foot falls with a small, very shallow pool at the bottom. Cenkus and her boy, Luke, survived, but her daughter, Elora, was killed by the bear. A week after her visit to Benton Falls, Cenkus said she was grateful that her son appears not to have been traumatized by the attack. The attack took place about 1 1/2 miles from the Chilhowee Campground, he said. It was euthanized and sent to the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville for examination, Moore said. The trip back to Tennessee, to Cherokee Forest, to Benton Falls was huge in the healing process, but, for a mother, the last look at a child is so very hard to take. The family was at a pool below Benton Falls on Chilhowee Mountain when the bear attacked, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said. "When they got ready to leave, the kids ran up the trail, as kids do. Dept. All this can be accomplished on Chillhowee Mountain. Hicks said authorities were using dogs and set traps baited with honey buns and doughnuts. After a long day of rafting on the Ocoee River, what better way to wind down than hiking to one of the areas famous waterfalls, taking a dip in a mountaintop lake and grilling some protein of your choosing at a nearby grill? It was just action,” she said. They had no way of knowing a killer bear awaited them at Benton Falls. Many of you will probably recall the story of the Ohio woman and her two small children that were attacked by a bear in the Cherokee National Forest back in 2006. The bear killed Elora Petrasek, 6, of Clyde, Ohio. A bear was standing over her. By Ben Benton and Mike O’Neal Staff Writers One child was killed and two family members were hospitalized after a bear attack Thursday afternoon on Chilhowee Mountain in Polk County, Tenn., according to Cherokee National Forest spokeswoman Nina Barrow. The trail is well maintained and is easily accessible from the parking lot. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. In May 2000, a woman was killed by a black bear near Gatlinburg. The mother and the boy were critically injured and flown to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, authorities said. Her mother, Susan Cenkus, 45, was in critical condition at a Chattanooga hospital. From Highway 64, turn on NFSR 77 (sign says Chilhowee Recreation Area) and drive 7.2 miles. Susan Cenkus tried to save her son by distracting the bear, which resulted in her being mauled, too. He had his paw on Luke.” Preparing to die, she snatched away her son and fought the bear. “And there was the bear, and he had Luke. Directions: East from Cleveland Tn. A black bear attacked a family of three in Polk County, Tennessee, killing a 6-year-old girl, and seriously injuring a 2-year-old boy and the children's mother. The family was at a pool below Benton Falls on … Around the waterfalls a bear was hit or not McKamy Lake offers a lot of wound! 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