Colorado DOW Euthanizes Bear Involved in Mauling

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Officers with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) euthanized the male bear involved in seriously injuring an Aspen woman in her home on Oct. 17. With assistance from USDA Wildlife Services, DOW officers shot and killed the bear near Aspen over the weekend.

The bear was located using a GPS tracking collar, placed on the bear earlier this year as part of a research project examining urban black bear behavior. By verifying collar tracking data, officers are sure that they have eliminated the bear responsible for the earlier incident. Tracking equipment had enabled wildlife officers to get close to the bear on several previous attempts, but nearby homes made it impossible to safely shoot the bear on those occasions.

In the Oct. 17 incident, the bear opened a sliding glass door and entered an Aspen woman's condo at about 1:30 a.m. The resident surprised the bear in the kitchen and the bear struck the woman in the face causing serious injuries.

While Colorado has a "two-strike" policy allowing for the relocation of nuisance bears, the policy does not apply to bears deemed dangerous because of aggressive behavior. Bears that exhibit aggressive behavior towards people are put down and are not relocated.

Tests are being run on the bear to determine whether it had any diseases or health issues that may have contributed to the aggressive behavior.

Black bear attacks are uncommon, but these powerful predators can become dangerous when lured to developed areas by human food sources. Residents are reminded to close and lock doors and eliminate bear attractants such as trash, birdfeeders, pet food, barbecue grills and fruit trees.