Bear crashes rubber duck race |

Bear crashes rubber duck race

Katie Redding
Aspen Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado ” Maybe the bear cub wanted to swim with the ducks.

Maybe it wanted to win the Ducky Derby.

More likely, the bear was flushed from his resting place by the Ducky Derby rubberneckers on Saturday.

A crowd of Aspenites turned out for the 17th annual Rotary Club Ducky Derby, the rubber ducky race that is a major fundraiser for the organization.

The bear cub ” who has been frequenting the Roaring Fork River this summer, according to Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office information officer Marie Munday ” ran through the crowds between the Aspen Art Museum and the John Denver Sanctuary and swam across the river. It disappeared before Aspen community safety officers even arrived on scene.

Chip Munday, Marie’s husband, was walking toward the finish line from the sanctuary when he heard people yelling, “Look, there’s a bear!”

The cub had a red tag in its ear, an indication that it has previously been captured by the wildlife officers.

Several tourists tried to get their children to stand near the bear for a picture ” despite his warnings that where there is a cub, there is a mother.

“It was a typical scene in town,” he said, with half the people concerned about the bear and the other half wanting to get a picture with the bear.

After “running in circles” in an attempt to escape the crowds, the bear headed upriver.

This isn’t the first time a bear has attended the Ducky Derby, according to Chip Munday. A few years ago, a large bear was in a cottonwood tree above No Problem Bridge just as the ducks were being dropped into the river.

The bear, he said, watched the ducks go by in confusion.

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