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Hunter who fought off black bear escaped with only scratches

(Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

(Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

SOUTH PARK, Colo. — A man who fought off a black bear in South Park on Friday night escaped with just scratches.

The man, who was scouting for a hunting trip, was walking near a stream when he encountered a bear, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.

The bear attacked and knocked him to the ground, but the man kept fighting back and the bear ran away.

(Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

(Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Paramedics treated the man for minor injuries to his hands, legs and abdomen, but he was not hospitalized.

“Thankfully, the injuries were not severe,” Northeast Regional manager Mark Leslie said. “This looks like a chance encounter where the bear was likely startled.”

“This was the first such incident involving a bear that we have ever responded to,” CPW said online.

CPW officers have set traps and have asked for assistance from the USDA Wildlife Services to track the bear.

Wildlife officers collected samples of the man’s clothing for DNA evidence.

If they capture the bear, it will be euthanized and a necropsy will be performed to determine if it had rabies or other abnormalities that would cause the aggressive behavior.

CPW warns hunters and tent campers in the area need to take precautions to avoid potentially dangerous encounters. Food should be stored in bear-proof containers, and away from tents and campsites.

CPW also offers more information on camping and hiking in bear country.

The hunter’s name is not being released.