An aggressive bear bit a woman in Aspen, Colorado last Monday. Colorado Parks and Wildlife set traps and hunted the bear throughout the week. It was described as a light brown bear between 200-300 pounds.
According to the Aspen Daily News, a bear was found in the same area Wednesday. CPW tranquilized it and sent photos to the victim who determined this was not the bear from Monday’s incident. That bear was then ear tagged and relocated.
Finally on Thursday, with the help of an eye witness, the bear was found and identified. By the time CPW arrived, it was gone. With the help of U.S. Wildlife Service hounds, the aggressive bear was later tracked and put down.
The bear will be sent to Wyoming Game and Fish for a necropsy to determine if it had any diseases or underlying causes for its aggressive behavior. They will also examine the DNA from the bear with the evidence collected from the hiker.
Those hoping the DNA will confirm that this is the same bear from the attack may be in for some disappointment according to Matt Yamashita, acting area wildlife manager for CPW. “Here’s the kicker on that one — everyone wants confirmation but there is no guarantee, even if it is exactly the right bear, that we are going to get a positive DNA match on this.”
CPW RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers and personnel with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services tracked and killed an aggressive bear believed to have been responsible for attacking a female hiker near Aspen Monday morning.
At approximately 8:30 this morning, witnesses reported seeing a bear in the proximity of the Hunter Creek trailhead that closely matched the description of the one involved in the attack.
Officers killed it on Highway 82 near the intersection of McSkimming Road just before 1 p.m. this afternoon.
CPW officers will transport the carcass to the agency’s Wildlife Health Laboratory for a full necropsy. It will then be taken to a laboratory in Wyoming for DNA testing.
To protect human health and safety, CPW officers are required to euthanize any wild animal that has injured a human. Relocation is not an option due to the agency’s dangerous bear policy and concerns the bear would resume its aggressive behavior in its new territory.
The bear population in Colorado is no joke! What ideas do you have to help reduce human and bear confrontations?