Bear believed to have attacked hiker in Aspen killed by wildlife officers

Credit: Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times

ASPEN, Colo. — The bear believed to have bitten a hiker in the Aspen area earlier this week was killed by wildlife officers Thursday.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said its officers and staff with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services tracked and killed the bear Thursday afternoon.

CPW described the animal as aggressive.

CPW said witnesses reported seeing the bear near the Hunter Creek trailhead about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Officers followed the bear’s trail and killed it near the intersection of Highway 82 and McSkimming Road shortly before 1 p.m.

CPW will transport the animal’s body its Wildlife Health Laboratory for a necropsy. It will then go to a lab in Wyoming for DNA testing.

“By policy and to protect human health and safety, CPW officers are required to euthanize any wild animal that has injured a human, regardless of the circumstances. Relocation is not an option due to the agency’s dangerous bear policy and concerns the bear would resume its aggressive behavior in its new territory,” CPW said in a statement.

The woman who was bit told CPW she and her husband saw the black bear Monday morning walking toward them on Hunter Creek Trail and stepped aside to give it space to pass.

As the bear walked by, the couple says it charged the woman and bit her thigh before running off, CPW said.

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