Aspen woman swatted by bear in kitchen
ASPEN ” A woman was attacked by a bear inside her Aspen condo early Wednesday, but her injuries are not life-threatening, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said the woman was awakened by a noise in her kitchen area at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. When she went to investigate, the bear struck her in the face, injuring her with its claws.
Hampton said the bear entered through a sliding glass door that was closed but not locked. The incident occurred in a condo complex on Doolittle Drive, near Aspen Valley Hospital.
She was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital by ambulance. Wildlife officials have not released her name or details of her injuries.
Aspen Police were first on the scene, according to the Division of Wildlife. The bear fled the home following the encounter and officers did not see the animal.
Wildlife officers have placed traps for the bear in case it returns, but wet weather made the use of tracking dogs impossible, according to the Division of Wildlife. Hampton said the bear will be killed if captured because of its aggressive behavior.
Wednesday’s attack was the second in the area in the past week. On Oct. 11, an Old Snowmass man was clawed when he encountered a bear in his garage, where he’d gone to feed his dogs. The bear behaved aggressively toward officers, according to the DOW, and was shot and killed.
Also last week, a bear entered an unlocked condo door on Aspen’s east side and trashed a refrigerator. No one was home at the time.
So far this year, the Division of Wildife has relocated 24 nuisance bears from Aspen and Pitkin County. To date, division wildlife managers have euthanized 12 bears in the county for aggressive or dangerous behavior ” most for breaking into homes looking for food.