Remains found near campsite belonged to Illinois man

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials have identified a man whose remains were found scattered near a campsite in the North Carolina portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a bear lurked nearby.

The park said the remains belonged to Patrick Madura, 43, of Elgin, Illinois, news outlets reported on Sunday.

His remains were found near Hazel Creek Trail after backpackers discovered an unoccupied tent Friday and saw the remains “with a bear scavenging in the area,” rangers said in a news release.

Rangers responding to a call said they also saw a bear “actively scavenging on the remains” and euthanized the animal.

“Our wildlife biologists, who are experts in human-bear conflicts, believe that once a bear has scavenged on the remains of humans that they pose a real serious risk of doing that behavior again,” the park’s spokesperson Jamie Sanders said. “We never want bears to associate people with food.”

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