It's dangerous when you camp where apex predators live. That appears to sadly be the case for an Illinois man that was killed by a bear while camping in the Smoky Mountains.

CBS News is reporting that Patrick Medura of Elgin, Illinois was camping in Smoky Mountains National Park in September of last year. Campers nearby found Patrick's body and also saw a bear nearby. The report indicates that it has now been determined that was the bear that took Patrick's life. It's taken that long for the medical examiner to make the death an official wildlife casualty.

If you've visited the Smoky Mountain region, you've likely seen or heard reports of bears as they are prevalent in that part of America.

The National Park Service issued a statement this week in regards to Patrick's death stating that it's only the 2nd bear-related fatality in the history of the park. They added some backstory to how Patrick was found:

On Sept. 11, 2020, backpackers initially found an unoccupied tent at campsite 82, a backcountry campsite in the park’s Hazel Creek Area. They later discovered what appeared to be human remains across the creek with a bear scavenging in the area and reported the incident to authorities. Upon arriving at campsite 82, park law enforcement rangers and wildlife officers observed a bear actively scavenging on the remains and promptly euthanized the bear.

We are seeing more bears in the wilderness regions of Illinois and Missouri now. If you're camping where bears might have a habitat, the National Park Service has lots of safety guidelines to follow. They advise that great caution be taken when it comes to food storage. Bear-proof containers and positioning away from where you're camping if at all possible are key to avoiding tragedies like what happened to Patrick.

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