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Bear kills woman hiker in Smoky Mountains

A woman waiting for her ex-husband on a trail at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was killed by a black bear.

Glenda Ann Bradley, 50, of Cosby was mauled Sunday, becoming the first person killed by a black bear in a federal park or reserve in the Southeast, park officials said.

"This was simply an unprovoked attack," Phil Francis, the park's acting superintendent, said Monday.

Bradley, an experienced hiker, and Ralph Hill, 52, entered the park about noon. The couple, who had been reconciling, hiked about 10 miles from Gatlinburg.

Hill told authorities he left Bradley on the trail to go fishing. He returned about an hour later to find her backpack on the trail and two black bears _ an adult female and a yearling _ at her body about 50 yards away. The adult bear apparently killed the woman.

Two rangers shot and killed the animals.

Deadly attacks by black bears are extremely rare. Only 37 have been recorded in North America, according to park officials.

About 1,800 bears live in the Smokies, and this was the first attack reported this year. Seventeen people were injured by black bears in the Smokies in 1989, the most in any one year. None was hurt seriously, however, and all were attacked because the bears wanted some of the hikers' food.

The backpack of Sunday's victim contained food, but was untouched.

Rangers had tagged the adult bear in 1998 and had placed an orphaned cub with her. The animal wasn't known as a problem bear.

The bears were to be tested to determine whether a disease or physical condition prompted the attack.

Park officials have closed some campsites through Saturday as a precaution.