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Man attacked by bear while walking his dogs

2:39 PM, Sep 6, 2013   |    comments
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LARKSPUR -- A man was attacked by a bear Wednesday evening while walking his dogs in a Larkspur neighborhood about an hour south of Denver.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife says the man was walking his dogs when he suddenly saw a bear running at him from the side. The bear bit him in one arm and then the man began to fight back. He injured the other arm when defending himself. After the man began to defend himself, the bear ran away.

"Generally, black bears in Colorado are not aggressive, so this is kind of a strange case," Jennifer Churchill with the Colorado Division of Wildlife said. "We certainly think it's a cause for concern because in general, bears don't like to come near people with dogs."

The man was transported to a local hospital. He was admitted, treated and released last night. The dogs were not injured.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife says the bear in the area is considered to be aggressive because the attack was unprovoked.

"I don't think this gentleman did anything wrong at all," Churchill said. "I think that he was just walking his dogs and got attacked by a wild animal. I don't think there is anything he could've done differently."

Churchill said there are many reasons bears could be aggressive, including if it is a mother defending its young, if one feels threatened, if one was injured, if one was starving, or had a disease.

The bear has not been spotted since Wednesday night's incident. However, there are traps set up for the bear.

"When we have any wildlife that injure humans, we need to euthanize that wildlife for public safety." Churchill said. "In this particular situation, especially because it was an unprovoked incident, we have set a trap and we plan on trapping this bear and euthanizing it."

Churchill also noted it is important for Coloradans to know what to do if they come across wildlife.

"We talk, and generally, prey does not talk to wildlife, so, that always helps to talk, but talk quietly," Churchill said. "But if any animal was to attack you in Colorado, you should fight back. We don't have grizzly bears in Colorado and every animal in this state that would attack you, you should fight back as hard as you can and do everything you can to protect your own safety."

Churchill said it is important for children to be educated about encountering wildlife as well, which is easy with an acronym she calls "S.M.A.R.T."
S: Stop.
M: Make yourself look big.
A: Announce yourself.
R: Retreat, back away slowly.
T: Tell an adult.


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