Bear reportedly wounds off-duty deputy in downtown Aspen

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A black bear (File photo)

ASPEN, Colo. -– An off-duty Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputy was wounded by a black bear in downtown Aspen on Sunday morning, the Aspen Police Department and a local newspaper reported.

Witnesses spotted a bear poking around a trash container in the area of Galena and Mill Streets about 1:30 a.m., APD said. An officer scared the bear away using lights and sirens, but lost sight of the animal.

About 2 a.m., deputy Erin Smiddy was walking down the same alleyway and encountered the bear again, police said. The animal swiped at her, inflicting injuries to her leg and abdomen, the Aspen Daily News reported.

Smiddy, who was not on duty at the time, was treated and released at an area hospital.

Bears are generally given several chances to stay out of urban areas, but this bear will likely be euthanized since it attacked a human, officials said.

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