|April 13, 2006
Updated 10:00 am 4/18/06 -
discussion on attack
Susan Cenkus, 45, and two of her children, Luke, 2 and Elora Petrasek, 6,
were attacked by a black bear while visiting the Cherokee National Forest
southeast Tennessee. Six year old Elora was killed during the attack and both
Susan and Luke were seriously injured.
Susan, a nurse from Clyde, Ohio and her children, Luke and Elora were in the
area to visit Susan's oldest son who is attending school at Lee University in
Susan took the two youngest children to Benton Falls, a popular destination
in the the Cherokee National Forest, not far from Cleveland. As they were
leaving the area around the waterfalls a bear was sighted near the trail. As
adults tried to scare the bear away it ran in and grabbed two year old Luke
Cenkus by the head.
Susan used rocks and sticks to try to get the bear to let go of Luke. When
bear dropped Luke, it attacked Susan, dragging her into the forest.
Other people hiking in the area joined in and drove the bear away from
Susan. However, sometime during the panic of the attack, 6 year old Elora
apparently ran off into the woods or down the trail.
When they realized Elora was missing a frantic search of the area was
immediately started. By the time Danny Stinnett was able to find her, the
black bear was standing over her lifeless body she was approximately 80 yards
He shot at the bear twice with a .380 pistol. The bear abandon the body and ran
off into the woods.