A female bear attacked a man in Colorado on Thursday morning, injuring him in the upper forearm.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the man was walking outside his home in Edwards Township to retrieve his dog when the incident occurred. This is the seventh bear attack this year in the state, according to the agency.
The sow pounced on the unidentified man while he was walking and knocked him down. He rushed to his house for safety and suffered no further injuries.
The staff of a local health facility treated his injuries, which were not life-threatening.
“He didn’t know he was between a bear or anything like that,” Randy Hampton, regional public relations officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, told the Aspen Times. “He didn’t see the big bear until it came towards him.”
After the incident, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials found the sow responsible for the attack in a tree with her cubs. The man had not noticed the cubs during the attack.
In accordance with CPW guidelines, the officers euthanized the mother bear and took the cubs into their possession. They will eventually be taken to the Frisco Creek Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in southwestern Colorado where they will be prepared for the coming winter.
“They’ll just be fattened up and then, probably in the middle of winter, we’ll actually hide them,” Hampton said. “We’ll basically anesthetize them, put them in a big box and cover them with snow. When the snow melts, it’s as if they’re hibernating naturally.
Bear attacks that cause injury to humans are very rare, and fatal attacks, which average just over two per year in North America, are even rarer – Frank van Manen, a research wildlife biologist with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team of the U.S. Geological Survey, told Tekk.tv.
The CPW data show that the most recent incident was the seventh bear attack in Colorado this year. One such incident occurred in July when a bear rammed an Aspen man in his house in the face.
The man “heard something inside his house and got up and went outside, and there is the bear – and he was in his living room. He hit him, knocked him down on the side of his head, face and neck,” Randy Hampton told the Aspen Daily News at the time.
The man was taken to a local hospital where he was operated on for his injuries, which Hampton said were “not life-threatening but potentially life-changing.
CPW officials later tracked down the bear and put the animal to sleep.
“We never want to have an animal euthanized, but public safety is paramount whenever a bear enters a house and reacts aggressively to humans,” said Matt Yamashita, CPW Wildlife Area Manager, in a statement.