DOW kills bear that attacked woman | AspenTimes.com

DOW kills bear that attacked woman

Aspen Times Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – State and federal wildlife officers on Saturday killed a male bear that attacked and injured an Aspen woman on Oct. 17.

According to a statement from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, officers located the bear using a GPS tracking collar placed on it earlier this year as part of a wildlife research project monitoring black bear behavior. They killed the bear about a mile east of Aspen around 3 p.m. Saturday.

“By verifying collar tracking data, officers are sure that they have eliminated the bear responsible for the earlier incident,” Wildlife Division spokesman Randy Hampton said in the statement. “Tracking equipment had enabled wildlife officers to get close to the bear on several previous attempts, but nearby homes made it impossible to safely shoot the bear on those occasions.”

On Oct. 17 the bear, which weighed approximately 450 pounds and was likely 5 to 10 years old, opened a sliding glass door and entered a Judith Garrison’s Aspen condo at about 1:30 a.m. The woman surprised the bear in the kitchen, and the bear clawed her in the face, causing serious injuries.

“Tests are being run on the bear to determine whether it had any diseases or health issues that may have contributed to the aggressive behavior,” Hampton reported, noting that neither this particular bear nor any other has been involved in any human encounters in the Aspen area since Oct. 17.

“Black bear attacks are uncommon, but these powerful predators can become dangerous when lured to developed areas by human food sources,” Hampton continued. “Residents are reminded to close and lock doors and eliminate bear attractants such as trash, bird feeders, pet food, barbecue grills and fruit trees.”

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While most bears should be either in their dens for winter hibernation or heading in that direction, Hampton said there likely are still a few large males seeking to fatten up a little more before they den up.

And in the past some bears, particularly large males that have become very habituated to human-sourced foods, have stayed out all winter long, he said.

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