DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has confirmed that human DNA has been found on the claws of the bear euthanized after the attack of a 19-year old male Sunday morning in Ward. A full necropsy of the 4+ year old, 280 lb. male bear was performed at the agency’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins. Evidence collected was sent to a Wyoming forensics lab which confirmed the findings.
“We believe this is the bear that attacked the young man,” said Mark Leslie, northeast regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “We know we have a lot of bears and a lot of people living and recreating in the Front Range foothills and mountains. This means bears will come into contact with more human-provided food sources and there is more potential for conflict. We encourage all residents and visitors to do their part to discourage bear habituation.”
The 19-year old male was attacked around 4 a.m. Sunday the ninth at Glacier View Ranch in Ward. The bear bit his skull, grabbed his head and dragged him 10-12 feet from where he was sleeping with other camp staff members. He fought off the bear and was treated at Boulder Community Health later that morning and released.
“We are glad the young victim is on the mend,” added Leslie.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages ALL residents and visitors to take down bird feeders until after Thanksgiving, bear proof their trash, and discourage bears from getting comfortable near homes and campsites by blowing air horns, banging pots and pans and making every effort to make bears feel unwelcome and unwanted. Discouraging bears from coming close to humans will help the bears have a natural, healthy fear of people and keep them wild. It will also keep humans from getting injured, or having their vehicles or homes broken into by hungry bears.
There is a wealth of information on how to recreate and live safely with bears in Colorado on our website. Please visit: cpw.state.co.us/bears and work with your neighbors in bear country to remove attractants, manage trash, and discourage bears from getting too comfortable near humans.