Hiker whose remains were eaten by bear identified

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed campsite 82 and a section of Hazel Creek Trail after rangers discovered the remains of an adult male at the campsite, and a black bear nearby.

Sunday afternoon the Park identified the hiker as Patrick Madura, 43, of Elgin, Illinois.

On Friday afternoon, backpackers found an unoccupied tent at campsite 82.

Shortly thereafter, the hikers discovered what appeared to be human remains across the creek with a bear scavenging in the area.

The hikers quickly left to obtain cell coverage and report the incident to authorities, according to Park spokesperson Jamie Sanders.

Emergency Communication staff received the initial report shortly after 7 p.m. Law enforcement rangers and wildlife officers were immediately dispatched to the scene.

Staff arrived at campsite 82 shortly after midnight and confirmed the report of a deceased adult human male.

After observing a bear actively scavenging on the remains, the rangers euthanized the bear.

The cause of death is unknown, and the case remains under active investigation.