ASPEN – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has confirmed that the bear killed last Friday by wildlife officers is the same bear that attacked a woman as while she was hiking near Aspen on Memorial Day.
According to the Wyoming Game & Fish Wildlife Forensics & Fish Health Laboratory, the bear’s DNA matched the sample recovered from the bite wounds of the victim.
CPW said the contents of the three-to-four-year-old bear’s stomach consisted almost entirely of birdseed. Wildlife officers said it is very likely the bear’s aggressive behavior was a result of it having lost its natural fear of people as it fed on backyard bird feeders.
“The frustrating thing about this course of events is that it was entirely preventable,” said CPW Officer Matt Yamashita, acting area wildlife manager. “CPW officers and other local law enforcement constantly remind the public to secure trash cans and dumpsters, take down bird feeders and lock their first-floor windows. Yet calls come in daily reporting aggressive bears demonstrating no fear of humans, getting into dumpsters and residing in people’s yards. Almost nightly bears are reported in houses or vehicles. This should not be considered normal or tolerable. It’s time for the public to self-assess and realize that until they take this seriously, people will remain in danger and bears will continue to be put down.”