Teen Who Survived Bear Attack In Tennessee Reunites With Her Rescuers

By Sarah Tate

December 2, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Six months after surviving a bear attack in the Tennessee mountains, a 17-year-old girl has reunited with her rescuers.

Timnah Roberts was sleeping at a Great Smoky Mountains National Park campsite in June with her family when she was attacked by a bear. A Tennessee Army National Guard medical flight crew was called to the scene, airlifting the teen to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment for multiple severe lacerations. Now, months later, she finally met up with the crew who saved her, WATE reports.

Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Banta was happy to reunite with the teen, saying it's not often they see the people they have rescued.

"It's nice to meet with her," said Banta. "It's one of those things that we don't get a chance to see them after we drop them off. It's normally we pick them up, kind of a scoop-and-grab, and we drop them at the hospital. They're taken care of from there and we never hear from them."

As token of her appreciation for rescuing her from a scary situation, Roberts gave them all wood-burned ornaments featuring a bear that she made herself using a skill she learned during her recovery. Banta was surprised to see how well the teen seems to have recovered.

"You would never have known that she had been attacked by a bear a few months ago," said Banta. "Seeing her smile and get out and enjoy life, be with her family, that's great — especially in the time of the holidays."

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