Colorado Bear Attack

whitedeer

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Release Date: 7/24/01

SCOUT LEADER MAULED BY BLACK BEAR

A Richardson, Texas scout leader was treated and released at Salida Hospital this morning after being bitten by a bear and dragged from her tent. The
incident occurred at the Packerd High Adventure Boy Scout camp about 1:30 a.m., July 24.

According to Colorado Division of Wildlife District Manager Ron Dobson, the woman left the flaps open on her tent when she retired. She awoke when a
black bear bite her on the hand and arm. The woman screamed, jerked her hand back and pulled her sleeping bag over her head.

Other campers were aroused when she screamed as the bear dragged the sleeping bag — with the woman still in it — out of the tent.

Several scout leaders drove the bear off by yelling and throwing stones at the bear.

The victim suffered deep puncture wounds on her hand and arms. Her injuries were treated at the emergency room at the regional medical center in
Salida.

The scout camp is located about two miles south of Poncha Springs just off of Highway 285. There were about 125 scouts and scout leaders in the camp at
the time of the attack. The facility hosts scouts between the ages of 13 and 20.

The woman plans to remain at the camp with her two sons for the remainder of the week.

Dobson said there is a history of bear problems over the past several years in the Poncha Springs area because of people feeding wildlife and not properly
securing trash in the vicinity of the camp.

“We have at least two bears in this area that have lost their fear of humans,” said Dobson. “People should understand that if they don’t secure their trash or
if they leave food out for the wildlife, they are contributing to the problem. We have a saying at the Division that a fed bear is a dead bear.”

Division of Wildlife officers will set traps for the bear and patrol the area tonight. Once they locate the bear, it will be destroyed and tested for rabies.

Less than a week earlier wildlife officers destroyed a bear at the Spanish Peaks Scout Ranch in south-central Colorado. That camp is visited by about 250
scouts each week. It also has had a recent history of visits from black bears.

This is the second time a person was injured by a bear this summer. On July 8, a 16-year-old Colorado Springs boy was injured at a campsite west of
Gardner when a bear bit him as he slept outside near a campfire. The bear, which returned several times, was shot and killed by the boy’s uncle. The boy
suffered minor injuries and was treated and released at a Colorado Springs hospital.

Wildlife officials are warning people who camp in Colorado to take precautions to avoid encounters with black bears.

THINGS TO REMEMBER IN BEAR COUNTRY

Campers:
* Keep your camp clean.
* Store food and garbage properly at all times.
* Keep your tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells.
* Store the clothes you wore while cooking or eating with your food.
* Burn all grease off grills and camp stoves.
* Wipe table and clean eating area thoroughly.
* Store your food safely. Use bear proof containers.
* Store food and coolers suspended from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and four feet out from the tree trunk.
* Dispose of garbage properly. Secure it with your food, then pack it out. Do not burn or bury the garbage.
* Sleep away from food areas. Move some distance away from your cooking area or food storage sight.
* Store toiletries safely. Store them with your food - the smell of toiletries may attract bears.
* Female campers should be advised the scent of a menstruating woman is sometimes an attractant to bears.

Recreational Hikers:
* Hiking at dawn or dusk may increase your chances of meeting a bear.
* Use extra caution in places where hearing or visibility is limited, such as brushy areas, near streams, where trails round a bend, or on windy days.
* Reduce your chances of surprising a bear on the trail by making noise, talking or singing.
* Make sure children are close to you or within your sight at all times.
* Leave your dog at home or have it on a leash.

If You Meet A Bear:
* There are no definite rules about what to do if you meet a bear. In almost all cases, the bear will detect you first and will leave the area. Bear attacks are
rare compared to the number of close encounters. If you do meet a bear before it has had time leave an area, here are some suggestions:
* Stay calm. If you see a bear and it has not seen you, calmly leave the area. As you move away, make noise to let the bear discover your presence.
* Stop. Back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact, as bears may perceive this as a threat.
* Give the bear plenty of room to escape. Bears rarely attack people unless they feel threatened or provoked.
* Do not run. If on a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly leave the area. Do not run or make any sudden movements. Running is likely to
prompt the bear to give chase, and you cannot outrun a bear.
* Speak softly. This may reassure the bear that you mean it no harm. Try not to show fear.
* Fight back. If a black bear attacks you, fight back. Black bears have been driven away when people have fought back with rocks, sticks, binoculars and
even their bare hands.

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whitedeer

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Release Date: 7/9/01

BEAR BITES BOY AT REMOTE CAMPSITE

A 16-year-old Colorado Springs boy chased off a young black bear with a shovel after the bear bit him on the shoulder as he slept at a campsite early
Sunday, July 8. The incident happened in the San Isabel National Forest west of Walsenberg in Huerfano County.

The young-man, who suffered scrapes and several puncture wounds, drove with his father to a Colorado Springs hospital where he was treated for his
injuries before returning home.

The bear, a 130-pound boar estimated to be about three-years-old, was shot and killed by the boy’s uncle after returning to the campsite where the attack
occurred and confronting the boy’s father. Colorado Division of Wildlife field officers retrieved the carcass and transported it to Fort Collins where a
necropsy was performed and a rabies test conducted. The rabies test was negative.

It was the first bear attack on a human in Colorado since 1999 when a sow with cubs injured a hiker in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Bear attacks on
humans are extremely rare but are possible wherever people live or recreate in bear country.

“We’re thankful the boy’s injuries were not more serious,” said Mark Konishi, the Division’s regional manager in southeastern Colorado. “We immediately
respond to any attack or threat to people because human safety is our first priority.”

A Division directive requires that bears that attack humans must be destroyed and tested for disease as quickly as possible.

According to witness reports collected by Division officers, the bear attacked the boy about 6 a.m. as he slept near the fire at the family campsite. He was
able to grab a shovel after he was attacked and chased the bear away.

According to the witness reports, the bear returned a second time and was again chased away by the family. The bear returned a third time and this time
chased the father onto the top of a pickup truck. A warning shot from a rifle failed to frighten the animal away. At that point, the uncle shot the bear twice
with a .30-caliber rifle.

Dry weather and a late June freeze that killed acorn-producing oak brush as well as some berry bushes have combined to reduce the natural forage for
bears in many areas of Colorado. Bob Holder and Reid DeWalt, the wildlife officers that investigated Sunday’s attack, have both dealt with dozens of
people/bear encounters over the past month, as have many other Division of Wildlife field officers.

“We’ve had dry weather and an extensive late spring freeze, and things aren’t going to get any better for bears over the next few months,” said Holder,
who was recently honored as North America’s top wildlife officer.

District Wildlife Manager Lonnie Brown, in who’s district the attack occurred, said bears had been attracted to campsites in the area last year and may
have returned this year in search of food.

“We’ve had bears getting into cars and houses already this year,” Brown said. “Habitat conditions are getting worse every day for bears.”

While encounters between people and bears are common in Colorado, attacks are extremely rare. Bears killed only two people in the last 100 years. In
nearly all cases, bears avoid confrontations with people.

In 2000 no humans were attacked by bears despite hundreds of people/bear encounters around Colorado.

Division bear biologist Tom Beck said taking simple precautions to keep food, garbage, bird feeders, pet food and other attractants away from bears can
dramatically reduce the chances of people/bear encounters.

“But even if you do everything exactly right, there’s still an extremely small chance that you may have an encounter with a bear,” Beck said. “That’s one
of the inherent risks when you live, hike or camp in Colorado.”
 

Ithaca 37

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You really can't blame the bears for being hungry. Unfortunately wildlife is always the loser in confrontations with humans. There's always gonna be lots of good smelling food around where the Scouts are and it's bound to lead to conflicts, especially in years when foraging is tough.
 

Mini Moose

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i think that just deisposing of a bear from an attack shouldn't be necciary. i mean just because humans "think" we are the dominant creature everything that attacks us is put to death. Animals do not no better then to attack sertain types of food sorces. I thikn if the person is not killed the bear should be relocated to an area less populated by humans and if it happens again then the bear shuold be killed.

Here is just a senario........ A human kills a black bear, but what can the other bears do abuot it, nothing is right, A black bear "attacks" a human and the human gets treated for injuries and is just fine. But what do humans do anythign they want to because we are the more "dominant" speices. Bears were on this continent long before humans and they did just fine. Humans come in and all the bear sees is another food sorce should this really be punishable by death. In an attack i think not, in a kill look at situations, sometimes yes sometimes no. Sure kids and mothers and fathers aunts uncles grandparents have all been lost to bear attacks but humans have also done this to bears but no human has been killed by a bear for killing the bears mother,father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, child. It is kinda unjust to just thin because we can talk and are very intelagent anything that does anythign to us shuld be punished.

My judgement on these to stories is, the first storie the bear shuold not have been killed it should have been relocated somewhere else, the second bear had obviuosly come to the camp more then one time looking for food and could not be kept away and the shot was a good idea on him. this is just my opinion and i know some people will not like it because they don't think i am mature enough to understand the thought of loseing a child but i think ethically we are not that dominant over bears just because of modern technolodgey. But i am going to stop now before i cause a fight. Later.
 

Calif. Hunter

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Your post is interesting, Mini Moose, because it reflects a lot of what the liberals out here seem to think...that animals are equal to humans. (By the way, I'm not calling you a liberal.) "They" passed the initiative banning the hunting of mountain lions...now mountain lions no longer fear humans and are attacking people, eating pets out of backyards, etc. If you really follow that line of thought, how can you eat meat? (I will avoid the whole religious-thing where God created humans to rule the earth and placed animlas here for our use.) Animals that do not fear humans should be destroyed so that they do not pass that behavior along either genetically or by teaching their young to eat us.
However, I can say that my children, my friends and my family are worth more to me than any critter. I won't abide a dog that bites children, either!
 

Ithaca 37

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MM, Unfortunately the bear has to be killed. Once it has attacked a human and gotten away it is less fearful of humans and will probably try again. Also, I think still the only way to test for rabies is to kill the animal and do some type of test on it's brain. I know all of this sounds real harsh, and it is, but that's the way life is for animals that have conflicts with humans. They almost always lose, whether it's a case like these bears looking for food, or animals losing habitat because of development or pollution of waterways they live in or many other things. I think we have to do all we can to minimize the harmful impacts we have on wildlife. That might sound strange coming from a hunter, but I think you know what I mean.
 

Mini Moose

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i am not trying to sound like a liberal but my point is that if it wasn't for hman beings that alot of the attacks would happen because alot of attacks happen because the bears smell food on the person or in the campsite. But i do beleave in the killing of bears that attack and kill. Unless it is a mother bear defending her cubs
 

Ithaca 37

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You're right, MM, many of these problems are brought about because of human carelessness or ignorance. That's why we feel sympathy for the animals that are impacted by the actions of humans in cases like these.
 

Elkhunter

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It is very unfortunate that human stupidity and carelessness is often the result in the death of any animal. But it is that way and we have to deal with it the best that we can. Once a bear has gotten away with feeding from people the sow can and will teach her young to do the same. I do not know how they do it in other areas, but here they first relocate the bear. This usually does not work due to the bears great homing ability. The second time the bear is caught back there it is destroyed. When the bears are relocated they are relocated many miles away in a wilderness area away from humans. They have returned to the same areas and are considered a problem and then destroyed.
 

45/70

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It doesn't matter how careful you are, if you're a Woman and you're on the rag in the woods, you're VERY likely to get attacked by a bear and I've even heard of White Tail deer being attracted by the smell...I'm not going to disclose my source, but a "friend" of mine uses, kept in zip lock bags, his wifes left overs, as a lure. That's right, he hangs em on the trees. Probably the most successful white tail hunter around here. He's not done too bad with the bears either. My wife refused and I'm not totally sure that I could go through with it anyway.
When I was Smoke Jumping in the forest service, 1988, at the Yellow stone fires, they wouldn't even let Ladies on the rag, even go on the fire lines. Almost every Woman attacked by bears, was in such a condition. And alot of other folks that were in the proximity of one, have become victims as a result of the bears getting freaky...
It is mentioned in the "things not to do in bear country" but it's mentioned last, and should be first. It's been DIRECTLY related to most Woman being actually killed by bears, reguardless of species.
 
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