Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges residents to use caution after third bear attack in Aspen
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking residents and visitors in the area to use more care around the state’s wildlife after a third bear attack in Aspen this year.
On Sunday night, officers with Parks and Wildlife and the Aspen Police Department responded to a local restaurant after a large black bear bit the restaurant’s manager, resulting in four, deep puncture wounds on the man’s leg. The man apparently was trying to scare the bear out of a dumpster when it climbed out, bit him and ran away.
“By attempting to scare the bear out of a dumpster, the man exposed himself to significant danger,” Parks and Wildlife area wildlife manager Matt Yamashita said in a news release. “It is likely the bear felt cornered, and it reacted aggressively. As we have warned over and over again, this is the exact scenario that can happen when people and bears interact, and why it is so dangerous for bears to be around people.”
While an investigation is ongoing into the attack, Yamashita said the bear would be euthanized once it’s found. This is the third bear attack in Aspen this year:
- May 27: A bear bit a woman hiking on the Hunter Creek Trail and was put down days later. A necropsy following its death revealed the bear’s stomach was filled with birdseed from a backyard bird feeder.
- July 27: A bear swiped at a man at the Aspen Meadows Resort. Witnesses of the attack reported the bear had previously approached other people without fear, and Parks and Wildlife is still searching for the bear.
According to Parks and Wildlife, all three incidents show the dangers of allowing bears to become comfortable around humans.
“This is extremely worrisome,” Yamashita said. “If people do not take this issue seriously, I believe it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed. We as a community have been lucky that injuries to humans this summer have been relatively minor, but these attacks should be taken as a serious warning to take action now.”
Individuals should do their part to help keep bears wild. Homeowners should avoid putting out bird feeders or other food that attracts bears as well as avoid leaving garbage containers out overnight. For more information on how to peacefully live with bears, visit CPW.State.co.us/bears.
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