By Matt Kroschel

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Traps are set and the hunt is on for a bear deemed “aggressive” by Colorado Parks  and Wildlife. It bit a hiker Monday morning near Aspen.

Billy Lawrence lives near where the attack happened and supports Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s plan to hunt down and kill the bear.

“Big bears and big problems,” Lawrence told CBS4 Tuesday.

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Bear warnings and trail closure signs greeted hikers along Hunter Creek Trail near downtown Aspen. It is an area known for frequent bear sightings.

The reported attack has Lawrence worried for his kids and their safety.

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“It’s extremely concerning considering I have an 8 and a 6 year old that play in this yard all the time,” he said.

A woman reported that she and her husband were walking back to Aspen when they saw a bear walking toward them on the trail. The woman says they tried to give the bear space and stepped off the trail. As the bear walked by, she says it suddenly turned, charged and bit her before taking off into the woods.

CPW officials have traps set in the area, and they are urging all residents in Aspen to be extra cautious right now with the bear still unaccounted for.

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“We live in mother nature. We’ve got to learn to live with them,” Lawrence added.

Wildlife officers say if they find this aggressive bear it will be killed, following protocols in dealing with bears showing aggressive behavior. That decision is drawing criticism online.

Hundreds of people commenting on Facebook demanding this bear be given a pardon. That’s something wildlife managers say they won’t risk.

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“I stand behind them doing what they have to do,” Lawrence said.

CPW officers have called in experts with the USDA’s Wildlife Services to assist with tracking the bear, described as light brown and weighing approximately 200-300 pounds.

Matt Kroschel

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