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Colorado bear bites camper’s arm; wildlife officers search for animal

Bear Attack Colorado
Posted at 2:56 PM, Aug 06, 2023

TRINIDAD, Colo. — A black bear bit the arm of a man camping near Trinidad Saturday night, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The camper was in a hammock when the bear attacked at a campground in the Purgatoire River bottoms east of Interstate 25, CPW said in a news release.

The man said that he was in the hammock when he heard a rustling noise, turned on his headlamp and saw a dark-colored bear next to him.

The camper told wildlife officers that the bear bit him on the upper right arm, turned and wandered off. He was transported to the hospital where he was treated for a 2-3 inch bite.

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The victim told CPW he had no food or other attractants with him in the hammock that might have lured the bear.

Wildlife officers are searching for the bear, which, if captured, must be humanely euthanized, the wildlife agency said in the release. A trap was set in case the animal returned to the campground.

“Bear attacks are rare and we take them very seriously,” CPW official Mike Brown said in the news release. “We are doing everything we can to locate this bear. And we continue to investigate the incident. Luckily, the victim’s injury appears to be relatively minor.”

This is the third bear attack in Colorado so far this year, according to CPW.

The agency is advising the public to always be aware of potential bear activity when camping. Bears that have previously found a food reward from a tent may attempt to enter even if no attractants are present.

To avoid problems for yourself and bears, make sure there’s nothing to attract bears to your camp.

  • Stash Your Trash. Use bear-proof containers when available. If they’re full, double bag trash and lock it in your trunk or RV. Never leave trash outside.
  • Store Attractants Safely. Store food, beverages and toiletries in air-tight containers and lock them in your trunk. Many bears have discovered that coolers, bags and boxes are full of food; never leave them in your tent or anywhere a bear could see, smell or reach.
  • Keep a Clean Camp. Bears are attracted to odors of all kinds and will investigate anything interesting in hopes of finding food.
  • Keep a Clean Tent. Don’t bring anything with an odor into your tent – that includes all foods, beverages, chapstick, scented toiletries, gum, toothpaste, sunscreen, candles and insect repellant. Don’t sleep in the clothes you cooked in; store them with your food.
  • Lock RVs and Vehicles. Close windows and lock your vehicle and RV when you leave your campsite and at night before you go to sleep.

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