Mama bear charges Great Smoky Mountains visitor who got near her cubs | TribLIVE.com
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Mama bear charges Great Smoky Mountains visitor who got near her cubs

Luckily, a Darwin Award was not given out this weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains.

A visitor to the national park inexplicably confronted a mother bear and three cubs and was able to scurry away unscathed on Saturday.

As the unidentified man ignored advice from other visitors in a parking lot not to get close to the wildlife, the mama bear had enough and charged the man to scare him away from her cubs.

“Honestly I really thought the dude was going to die,” said Paige Marple, whose cellphone video of the encounter racked up thousands of Facebook hits.

Signs around the park tell visitors not to get within 50 yards of a bear, much less 5 feet.

The federal misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

“It was pretty intense for a second because I just knew he was going to end up in a body bag,” Marple told WVLT in Knoxville. “How he didn’t is beyond me.”


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