Wildlife officials in Aspen, Colorado, are on the lookout for a bear they claim attacked a hotel security guard and broke into the kitchen.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) released details of the attack on Tuesday, saying that it occurred about 11 at night at the St. Regis Resort Hotel when a security guard checked out reports of a bear inside the hotel.
According to reports, the bear was caught off guard as the guard entered the kitchen and rounded a corner. A swipe from the animal sent the guard tumbling to the ground.
The man managed to get away from the bear and dial emergency services. The guard’s back was severely scratched. Emergency personnel took him to the hospital.
According to CPW, wildlife officers arrived shortly after midnight and immediately began searching for the bear.
A set of doors near the hotel’s courtyard was identified as the likely entry point for the bear, the agency said. The officers were given a detailed description of the animal, down to its unique identifying characteristics, and they continued their hunt.
Wildlife officers tracked down the bear early Tuesday morning near the hotel, but owing to public safety concerns, they could not fire a tranquilizer nor capture it.
The search was supposed to be resumed later by wildlife officials scheduled to return to the area.
The CPW has warned that bears are still roaming the area before hibernating for the winter.
Everyone must give bears and other animals room and keep in mind the need to be “bear aware” at all times, the agency stated, adding that people often observe bears and other wildlife within Aspen town limits.
Because more people are venturing into the Colorado wilderness for camping and hiking, the cops said, there has been an uptick in human-bear conflicts.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) estimates that there are between 17,000 and 20,000 black bears in the state.
They are not often dangerous, but if they become hungry enough, they may attack humans.
The CPW claims they “had to exterminate” any bear that gets too used to humans.