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Bear euthanized in Jefferson County had human DNA on claws, testing confirms

Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 20:01:11-04

PINE, Colo. – The bear that was euthanized after an attack in Jefferson County on Monday was confirmed to have human DNA under its claws, officials said Wednesday.

The bear was tested for DNA at the University of Wyoming Forensics Lab, which found human protein on the bear and reported the findings back to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The DNA test confirmed that the bear that was the one that attacked a 71-year-old man at a home in Pine on Monday night, officials said. The bear also had a significant amount of trash in its stomach.

The man and his wife fought off that bear after it entered their home in Pine on Monday night with its cub and started eating their food – escaping without serious injuries, the sheriff’s office says.

The mother bear and its cub entered the couple’s home in Pine around 8:30 p.m. Monday and started eating a loaf of bread, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

The two homeowners went to investigate noises in their home and found the bears. Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the fight between the sow and the man was described as "a boxing match."

The sheriff’s office said the man was scratched and cut on his face, chest and arms by the bear but that he was not seriously injured and was treated at the scene. His wife was not injured.

CPW wildlife officers and USDA Wildlife Services officials tracked the bear and found it about 900 yards away from the home around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Officials euthanized the sow but said the cub was not located.

CPW policies state that if a bear attacks and injures a human, it must be euthanized.

Officials warned that bears are very active this time of year as they try and eat as much as they can before they go into hibernation for the winter.

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