COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A bear was euthanized early Wednesday, hours after it entered a private campground and pounced on a tent where a woman was eating dinner to escape a rainstorm, pushing the woman into the ground.
The woman suffered no serious injuries – she was not bitten or clawed – and the bear moved away after the woman’s friend noticed a commotion and approached the tent.
The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m., Tuesday, at the Aspen Acres Campground, located on Colorado Highway 165 in the San Isabel National Forest, northwest of Rye.
The host at the campground helped the woman from the tent and called 9-1-1. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) was notified and a wildlife officer responded.
In fact, CPW officers had been at the campground earlier in the day to place a trap after the bear broke into an unoccupied car the previous night. The car had cake and other food stored inside. Signs were erected warning of a bear in the area and campers were warned to be alert for bears.
Upon arriving late Tuesday, the CPW wildlife officer saw the bear was gone so he attended the woman and her friend.
The woman had back and shoulder soreness from being jumped on by the 350-pound male bear, so the CPW officer called an ambulance along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) team, which helps CPW manage conflicts caused by wildlife for the protection of public health and safety.
The woman was checked by emergency medical technicians who cleared her of any injuries and left.
Meanwhile, the APHIS team arrived as the bear returned to the camp. They, along with CPW, were able to tree the bear and it was euthanized.
The incident is an important reminder of the need to observe Bear Aware rules, especially when camping in bear country. Never keep food in a tent or car or eat in a tent. Store food and anything with an odor, including toiletries and clothes you cook in, in a bear-resistant container or suspended from a tree at least 10 feet above ground.
More Bear Aware tips can be found here and on the CPW website along with specific suggestions about camping in bear country, including some at this link.