Traps set near Aspen for ‘aggressive bear’ that bit hiker | PostIndependent.com

Traps set near Aspen for ‘aggressive bear’ that bit hiker

Staff Report / The Aspen Times
Hunter Creek Valley trail closed near aspen after bear attack
A trail closure sign blocks the lower Hunter Creek Valley trail to hikers Monday afternoon after an unprovoked bear attack was reported earlier in the day. Crews with tracking dogs were dispatched to locate the suspect bear.
Jeremy Wallace / The Aspen Times

State wildlife officials set two traps for a bear that bit a woman hiking Monday near the Hunter Creek Apartments.

Kurtis Tesch, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer for the Upper Roaring Fork Valley, said Tuesday he’s monitoring the traps for the bear after hounds were unable to locate it Monday.

“We’re waiting to see what happens,” he said Tuesday morning.

The black bear ­— which Tesch believes is a yearling or 2-year-old — bit the woman about 9:15 a.m., he said. She suffered two puncture wounds to her thigh.

The woman, who was in her mid-50s and visiting from Washington, was hiking on the Hunter Creek Trail with her husband when they saw the bear coming down the trail toward them. They stepped off the trail to give the bear room, and as it passed it bit her then ran off, Tesch said.

BEAR ENCOUNTER TIPS

If you see a bear, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials offer these basic tips:

  • Do not run from a bear, stand your ground and talk firmly to the animal;
  • If it continues to approach, throw rocks and sticks, wave your arms and yell loudly;
  • If the bear attacks, fight back as aggressively as possible and do not stop until the bear runs off.

The couple did not have a dog with them and was not yelling at the bear at the time of the attack, he said.

The woman, who asked authorities not to release her name, was composed after the attack — which occurred near Lone Pine Road — and was upset when informed that the bear would have to be killed, Tesch said.

Aggressive animals who attack humans are automatically killed so others are not attacked, he said.

jauslander@aspentimes.com


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