ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman sustained injuries after being attacked by a bear in Aspen early Sunday morning.
According to Blair Weyer with the Aspen Police Department, at approximately 2 a.m. police responded to a call about a woman who was injured by a bear in the alley between Galena and Mill Street.
Weyer said that before the woman was attacked police responded to a call about people gathering around a large bear in a dumpster in the same alley.
“An Aspen police officer responded and scared the bear away using his lights and sirens,” Weyer said in a statement. “He lost sight of the bear after it fled through the courtyard by St. Mary’s Church.”
Weyer said the woman was attacked about 30 minutes later.
“(The) woman had actually been struck by the bear, so the bear swiped at her hit her abdomen and thigh and was injured in that encounter.” Weyer told CBS4.
The woman was been treated and released.
“This bear was likely agitated from that earlier encounter with some humans, so maybe a little on edge to begin with, and from the sounds of her report she kind of turned down that alleyway and was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Weyer said.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been attempting to locate the bear. The bear could be euthanized since the “3 Strikes” rule doesn’t apply when a bear attacks a person.
Also this weekend, a Conifer man discovered his four cases of root beer were tossed out of his Toyota. The ripped headrest and paw print in the dirt showed that a bear was the culprit
Matt Robbins from Colorado Parks and Wildlife says those who come too close to a bear need to keep calm.
“Keeping your eye on the bear, not necessarily in its face, but on the bear, and speaking calmly allowing the bear the opportunity to then retreat or identify you as a human and then retreat,” Robbins said.
He said a person who encounters a bear should never turn their back.
“To turn your back and run, you are not going to be able to outrun a bear,” Robbins said.
When faced with having to fight a bear, fight as hard as possible so hopefully the bear disengages. Also, blowing a whistle in the woods or where a bear might be might scare the bear.
Another bear had to be euthanized in Fruita Sunday night.
Additional Information From Aspen Police
Please protect yourself and keep the Aspen bears safe by being bear aware. Additional information about bear encounters can be found online at aspenbears.com or by calling the bear hotline at (970) 429-1768.