Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

CO: Bear Suspected of Mauling Campers Killed

ASPEN, Colo. – A bear suspected of injuring two campers at
separate campsites this past Friday and Saturday morning was
successfully tracked and killed at approximately 7 a.m. Sunday
morning by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, with the
assistance of a specialist with the U. S. Department of
Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program and employees of the U. S.
Forest Service.

Based the location, behavior and description of the black bear
given by campers involved in the incidents, wildlife officers are
confident that they tracked down the bear responsible for attacking
two campers while they slept in their tents at the Maroon Bells –
Snowmass wilderness area. The bear bit both victims, causing minor
injuries to the leg of one camper at Crater Lakes and substantial
injuries to the leg of another camper in the nearby Minnehaha Gulch
area.

“We were very careful to make sure we got the right bear,” said
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will.

Because the two incidents were in the same area and had similar
characteristics, Will believes only one bear was involved in these
attacks.

“With the removal of this bear, camping in this area is safer
today, but there are other bears out there and people need to take
precautions when they camp anywhere in Colorado,” cautioned Will.
“Bears are intelligent and once they find food at one camp, they’ll
look for food at other camps. These incidents should serve to
remind people how serious irresponsible camping practices can
be.”

In Saturday morning’s incident, the injured camper reported
having an empty bag of freeze-dried food inside a backpack in his
tent. However, the campers involved in Friday morning’s incident
indicated that they had followed all recommended food storage
practices, but still became a target of the aggressive bear.
Wildlife managers suspect that due to poor practices by previous
campers in the area, the bear had learned that tents were an easy
source of food.

“Overall, camping in Colorado remains safe and fun, and
incidents like this remain very rare,” Will added. “If you follow a
few simple rules, you will likely have an enjoyable camping
experience.”

The bear will be tested for rabies and necropsied as part of the
investigation.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers extensive information about
black bears on its website at:
http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/LivingWithWildlife/Mammals/Pages/HikeCampBearCountry.aspx

A printable information sheet for campers can also be downloaded
at:
http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/Education/pdf/LivingWithWildlife/BackcountryCampingInBearsCountry.pdf

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:
http://wildlife.state.co.us.

 

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