Wildlife officials say two bears were euthanized after a man was attacked at a campground in southwest Colorado. The man was camping near the Blanco River when, shortly after midnight, he heard a noise outside his tent. Assuming it was a bear, he remained quiet.
Matt Thorpe with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says “the next thing he knows, the bear claws in and bites him.”
The man thought the best course of action was to remain quiet, but the bear bit him two more times. So he started making noise and the bear ran off, Thorpe added.
The man, whose name hasn’t been released, was treated for minor puncture wounds.
Two bears with the same color hair that was found at the campsite were tracked down and euthanized out of an abundance of caution, and DNA and saliva samples were sent to a lab in Wyoming to make sure they didn’t have rabies, reports the Durango Herald.
“It’s unfortunate two bears were euthanized, but that’s what it took to get this case solved and the victim some closure,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe said they aren’t quite sure why the bear attacked. The camp was clean and had bear boxes for people to store food. The man didn’t have food in his tent, although he did have toothpaste, which may have attracted the bear.
Thorpe said bear attacks are not common. The last reported attack in Southwest Colorado happened in 2015 in Durango when a bear bit two people camping in a homeless camp near the Durango Tech Center, which was strewn with trash. That bear, too, was euthanized.