Bear involved in attack on Aspen restaurant manager captured, killed by wildlife officials |

Bear involved in attack on Aspen restaurant manager captured, killed by wildlife officials

Staff reports
A bear gets into a dumpster in Aspen in 2016. This is not the bear that was captured and killed this week.
Marc Mandelbaum/Special to The Aspen Times |

Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Friday they have captured and killed the bear that bit an Aspen restaurant manager late Sunday night.

CPW officers said they found the bear within town limits on Monday. DNA test results received late Thursday confirmed it was the same bear that attacked the restaurant manager, who was trying to get the bear out of a dumpster behind Steakhouse 316 on Hopkins Avenue.

The bear was tracked to a second-story balcony of a business one block from where the attack occurred. The bear was knocked out then moved to the CPW office where it was euthanized, Area Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita said Friday in a news release.

A necropsy revealed the male bear weighed approximately 400 lbs, was healthy and tested negative for rabies.

“We had numerous officers and assistance from Aspen PD as we searched for the bear all day on Monday,” Yamashita said.”We encountered two other bears in town that did not match the description. Those bears were hazed but not captured.”

Officers made the field determination that they had found the target bear based on descriptions provided by the victim and bystanders the evening of the attack. Measurements of the bear’s teeth while it was immobilized matched those of the bite wounds sustained by the victim.

Also, the proximity of the bear to the location of the incident contributed to the officers’ confidence that the right bear was located.

Yamashita says because the bear was so large, had attacked a person and continued to roam in town limits, it was a serious threat to people.

“A bear this size and unafraid of humans could have easily killed a person with little effort,” said Yamashita. “It’s unfortunate this bear had to die for this reason, especially when you consider it was totally preventable. Based on our experience, there was no chance this bear could be rehabilitated after it bit a person.”