By SHEILA BURKE, Associated Press

GATLINBURG  (AP) - In what amounts to an innocence project for bears, National Park Service rangers are turning to modern forensic technology, including DNA evidence, to make sure they don't kill the wrong bear when a human is attacked in the mountains.

Twice in the last two years the Park Service executed bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park only to find out afterward through DNA evidence it had the wrong suspects. The public was outraged.

Officials at the park say they are doing their best to prevent it from happening again.

A new DNA lab with faster response times and other tools are being used to correctly identify the right bear whenever there is an attack. Faster DNA processing helps because bears can only be held humanely for about 48 hours.

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