Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials raised an alert for Aspen residents this week after a bear charged and bit a hiker.
CPW officers and USDA wildlife experts are searching for a 200- to 300-pound “aggressive bear” near Aspen this week after two hikers reported it charged and bit them without provocation.
The husband-and-wife pair told CPW officials they were hiking on the Hunter Creek Trail near Lone Pine Road Monday morning when they saw a light-brown bear walking toward them on the path. The woman told CPW they stepped off the path to give the bear room to pass.
But as it passed, the bear “suddenly turned, charged, and bit her,” according to a CPW news release. Officials said the wound “did not appear serious,” and CPW did not release the hikers’ identities.
“This is an aggressive bear and by policy, we will put it down if found,” CPW Officer Matt Yamashita said. Officials worry that because the attack occurred near Aspen, the bear may enter city limits.
Officials cautioned residents to be on the lookout and know how to handle an encounter.
“If it appears aggressive or shows no fear of humans, do not approach it,” Yamashita said. “Haze it away by yelling or banging pots and pans, then call CPW or 911 immediately.”
While officers search for the bear, the section of the Hunter Creek Trail up to the Lani White Trail remains closed until further notice. For more information about the closure, contact Pitkin County Open Space.