Man attacked by bear near Aspen: ‘I literally thought I might be dead’ |

Man attacked by bear near Aspen: ‘I literally thought I might be dead’

Staff report
Aspen Times
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers hike out with evidence of a bear suspected of attacking an Aspen man early on Friday, July 10.
(Kelsey Brunner/Aspen Times)

The man who was injured Friday morning by a bear that got into a house in the Castle Creek Valley said he was trying to get the bear out of the house when it swiped at him.

A man identified as Dave Chenosky and in town visiting a friend’s house told ABC World News Tonight that he heard a noise about 1 a.m. Friday in the house and came across the bear when it was in the kitchen.

He said he attempted to get it to leave through the garage and tried to open the garage door to let the bear out. That is when things became dangerous.

“I turned around in the hallway and looked him straight in the face and he just went ‘bam’ and hit me in with his paw one time,” said Chenosky, who has large cuts on the left side of his face, including very near his left eye.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife area manager Matt Yamashita said officers responded to the incident at about 3 a.m. and are investigating how the bear got in and the encounter. He told The Aspen Times on Friday they were not able to find “any relatable attractants that were obvious as to why the bear was there or why it entered the house.”

Chenosky was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital and then transferred by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.

“I literally thought I might be dead,” he told ABC News.

CPW officials sent evidence from the bear, which they tracked near a mineshaft on the backside of Aspen Mountain and euthanized, to the state lab in Fort Collins on Friday afternoon. After testing there by state veterinarians, it will be sent to a lab in Wyoming for DNA analysis, Yamashita said.

He said Friday the officers are very confident it is the same bear, but protocol remains to send evidence to the labs for testing and analysis. Those results could come in some time this week, Yamashita said Friday.

Efforts by The Aspen Times to reach Chenosky have been unsuccessful.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.