Bear Attacks Man in His Own Kitchen in Aspen, CO

James Pulfer |
Dave Chernosky is recovering from cuts to his face and back after an encounter with a bear that got into the kitchen of the house where he's staying.
Dave Chernosky shortly after receiving care at a local hospital. CNN Photo submitted by Dave Chernosky

A mature black bear found its way into an Aspen, CO home, where a man and his 12-year-old twins were sleeping. Dave Chernosky is lucky to be alive and well after a terrifying confrontation with a huge black bear, weighing in at around 400 pounds. Although unclear how the bear gained access to the home, it is very possible the bear let itself in through a door with a lever handle. Chernosky heard lots of noise coming from the kitchen area of the home his family was staying in, he got out of bed to investigate. His worst fear had been realized, a massive bear was in his kitchen looking for food. The bear was standing at the fridge and had made a complete mess of the kitchen.

closeup photography of black bear
This was Aspen’s first bear attack of 2020, 3 attacks occurred in 2019 but were all in the outdoors. Unsplash

Chernosky’s 12-year-old twins were asleep downstairs, he knew he had to act quickly to keep the bear from going downstairs. He tried to lure the bear into the garage, a plan that seemed like it was going to work. Until the garage door opener startled the bear and it ran back into the house! In a dashing effort to keep his children safe, he placed himself in between the bear and the stairs leading to his children. The bear struck him on the side of his head, spinning him around. The bear swiped again, this time at his back. Bleeding profusely, he was able to crawl away from the bear while shouting for the bear to leave. Luckily the bear was ready to leave by this time and found its way out of the house.

fireworks display above buildings viewing mountain
Ajax Mountain and the town of Aspen below. Unsplash

Colorado Parks and Wildlife located the bear with the help of tracking dogs and later euthanized it. It is believed to be the same bear that had been digging through trash cans for the previous few days in town. This bear has also avoided capture for a few years now, for similar trash digging behavior. They will compare samples from the carcass and from the home to certify that they found the right animal.

The authorities have little recourse when animals start frequenting populated areas. Most especially when entering homes and showing aggression towards humans. Dave Chernosky may very well have saved his children’s lives with his bold actions. He is also incredibly lucky to be alive and well after the bear almost took one of his eyes and nearly missed his carotid artery.

David Chernosky photo credit

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2 thoughts on “Bear Attacks Man in His Own Kitchen in Aspen, CO

  1. Everybody wants to live in the mountains but no one wants to live with the wildlife

    1. Mountain living requires humans adapt their behavior. One important modification is securing trash in a manner that will not serve as an attractant. A fed bear is a dead bear. We have to protect bears from themselves. Of course they will follow the scent and go for the food. We must all be smart to preserve our wildlife.

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