Euthanized bear that bit hiker near Aspen fed from bird feeders

ASPEN, Colo. — Wildlife officials suspect that a bear that bit a hiker last month near Aspen had lost its fear of people after coming to rely on backyard bird feeders for food.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Wednesday that DNA from the black bear killed after the Memorial Day attack confirmed it was the same bear that bit a woman hiking with her husband.

It also said the necropsy showed its stomach mostly contained birdseed.

People who live near bear habitat are warned not to use bird feeders or leave their trash unsecured to avoid attracting bears and getting them accustomed to human sources of food.

Wildlife officer Matt Yamashita said the run-in was “entirely preventable” and said bears would continue to have to be killed until people heeded those warnings.

The bear was estimated to be 3 to 4 years old and weighed 224 pounds.

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