The bear that attacked a security guard inside the kitchen of a Colorado resort was captured and killed, officials said.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers searched for the bear and identified him from security video of the attack, according to an Oct. 25 news release.
The video shows the bear pacing through a walkway in the kitchen of the St. Regis Aspen Resort late Monday, Oct. 23. The security guard had gone into the area to investigate reports of the bear inside the hotel, McClatchy News previously reported.
Video shows him turn the same corner the bear had just walked back through, and they run into each other on the other side of a doorway.
The security guard turns as the bear swipes at him and knocks him to the ground, the video shows. He falls into a metal cart, and the bear turns and runs down a hallway.
The security guard was treated for scratches on his back and released from the hospital Tuesday morning, McClatchy News previously reported.
St. Regis Aspen Resort sits at the foot of Aspen Mountain, just south of the White River National Forest and about 200 miles southwest of Denver, where bears are very common. While searching for this bear, wildlife officers spotted eight others moving around downtown Aspen, officials said.
Wildlife officers spotted the bear just after 10 p.m. Tuesday and confirmed it was the same one by the distinctive white patch on his chest, officials said.
They hazed the bear into a tree at Conner Park in Aspen and tranquilized him, and used a fire truck ladder to get him down, officials said. They then took him away to put him down per the agency’s policy.
Wildlife officials determined the bear was a male, known as a boar, and sent his body to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins to perform a full necropsy.
“Using footage provided by the hotel, we were able to confirm the aggressive behavior of the bear,” said Matt Yamashita, a wildlife manager for the area.“
Officials noted that while most “human bear conflict” stems from improper precautionary measures, that wasn’t the case here. Wildlife officials said there were not “food related attractants” in the kitchen and that it was clean, so there would have been less lingering odors that would attract the bear.
Wildlife managers estimate Colorado has between 17,000 and 20,000 bears, and the population is strong and growing, officials said.
“CPW has clear guidelines on how to handle black bear incidents and predator attacks,” officials said. “Bears in Colorado are euthanized for one of three reasons: dangerous bears, depredating bears, and nuisance bears that receive two strikes.”
Nuisance bears “pose an immediate threat to or damage property,” but not to public safety. Bears are labeled depredating bears when they’ve “injured or killed livestock” or “pose a threat to agricultural products or resources.”
Dangerous bears “pose an immediate threat to human safety.”
Officials did not say which category the bear that attacked the security guard was classified as, but because wildlife officials decided to put the bear down it seems it was labeled as a threat to human safety.
“CPW takes no action on the vast majority of bears deemed nuisance bears, but must occasionally relocate them.”
What to do if you see a bear
Bear attacks in the U.S. are rare, according to the National Park Service. In most attacks, bears are trying to defend their food, cubs or space.
There are steps people can take to help prevent a bear encounter from becoming a bear attack.
Identify yourself: Talk calmly and slowly wave your arms. This can help the bear realize you’re a human and nonthreatening.
Stay calm: Bears usually don’t want to attack; they want to be left alone. Talk slowly and with a low voice to the bear.
Don’t scream: Screaming could trigger an attack.
Pick up small children: Don’t let kids run away from the bear. It could think they’re small prey.
Hike in groups: A group is noisier and smellier, the National Park Service said. Bears like to keep their distance from groups of people.
Make yourself look big: Move to higher ground and stand tall. Don’t make any sudden movements.
Don’t drop your bag: A bag on your back can keep a bear from accessing food, and it can provide protection.
Walk away slowly: Move sideways so you appear less threatening to the bear. This also lets you keep an eye out.
Again, don’t run: Bears will chase you, just like a dog would.
Don’t climb trees: Grizzlies and black bears can also climb.