MANITOU SPRINGS — Colorado Parks and Wildlife, along with federal wildlife experts, caught and humanely euthanized a sow (female) bear early Saturday morning near Manitou Springs.
CPW said the bear matched the description of a bear that attacked a woman near downtown Manitou on Thursday night. The attack involved a sow with two cubs.
The agency said the bear charged the woman, knocked her down, and clawed her back. She suffered three scratches on her back but was not seriously injured and did not seek medical attention. She also had cuts on her hands and legs from her fall.
CSPD said the bear chased another person a few minutes later in the same block, which is just south of downtown Manitou Springs.
Manitou Springs Police alerted CPW to the attack Friday morning.
The woman told CPW officers she was walking home around 11:40 p.m. when she came across an adult bear on the street.
She said the bear charged her, and when she tried to escape she was knocked down from behind and the bear scratched her back and ripped her shirt.
A few minutes later the bear chased a colleague of the woman as she walked down the same street. That woman was able to avoid the bear by running around a parked car.
She described the bear as dark in color. A neighbor who saw the incident reported seeing two cubs along with the adult bear.
The bears eventually wandered off and the victim walked to her home.
“This victim was very lucky she wasn’t more seriously injured in this attack and we are urgently trying to find this bear,” said Cody Wigner, Assistant Area Wildlife Manager for the Colorado Springs region.
CPW said their team of officers and the federal wildlife experts were also able to capture the sow's cubs. They were sent to the nonprofit Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation facility, where they will be raised and taught to avoid humans. They will be released into the wild next winter.
The sow's remains were sent to a lab for a necropsy and testing.
“Early Saturday morning, the APHIS (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service) team, using trained hounds, treed a sow matching the description of the target bear and in the same area as the attack. It was humanely euthanized. Then the two cubs were captured. We are very confident we caught the target sow so we removed traps set up in the neighborhood and pulled our officers out," Cody Wigner, Assistant Area Wildlife Manager for the Colorado Springs region said.
In wake of the attack, neighbors told CPW the sow and cubs often rummaged trash cans in the area and acted aggressively toward people, according to the agency.
More information about living in bear country is available on the CPW website.