Bear Rescue Could Have Taken Cubs After Weekend Attack

Knoxville (AP) -- A nonprofit organization that rehabilitates orphaned bears said they would have taken three black bear cubs who were euthanized in Gatlinburg after the cubs' mother attacked a woman.

Authorities said 73-year-old Carol Benoist was attacked Saturday morning when the animals were rummaging through garbage on the deck of her cabin. Benoist was treated and released.

Tennessee Wildlife officials caught and killed the cubs and the mother over the weekend.

The president of Appalachian Bear Rescue, Jack Burgin, told the Knoxville News Sentinel that their facility in Townsend could have taken the cubs.

Allen Ricks with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said the young bears were already demonstrating aggressive behavior like the mother.

Wildlife officials encourage people not to feed bears or leave food out because they will become aggressive and associate people with food.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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