TRINIDAD, Colo. (KDVR) – Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are currently looking for a bear that swiped at a woman while she was inside a tent with her husband and young daughter at Monument Lake Resort.

According to wildlife management with CPW, the family of three was sleeping an estimated 37 miles west of Trinidad early Friday morning when, at roughly 2 a.m., the youngest among them, a 2-year-old girl, was woken by a popping sound that came from outside the tent.

The startling sound was created when a bear stepped onto a beach ball that was just outside of the family’s tent. The mother of the little girl attempted to console the upset child, during which CPW wildlife officials believe she rubbed up against the tent’s fabric wall, which the bear likely noticed.

The bear reacted to the movement in the tent by swiping at it, creating claw marks in the fabric while also scratching the scalp of the woman inside. Immediately after, the bear wandered off without any further aggressive behavior to note.

“This is an unfortunate incident because the bear was not aggressively pursuing the victim,” CPW’s Area Wildlife Manager for the region Mike Brown said. “The local District Wildlife Manager has set a trap in the campground in hopes of catching this bear.” 

In accordance with CPW policy, if the bear that did this is caught, it will be euthanized. Any contact made by a bear on a person is classified as a bear attack.

The woman did not seek any medical attention after the attack as the injuries she sustained were deemed to be not serious.

“If the bear intended to harm the woman, the outcome would have been much worse,” Brown further punctuated. “The evidence of the investigation illustrates that bears react to the environment they live in.”

As a result of this wildlife interaction, CPW requested the assistance of dog teams, managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, but as of this posting, the bear has still not been located.

Additionally, CPW officials suggest that if you are camping in a tent, avoid sleeping near the edge to avoid any unnecessary shaking of the tent.  You can get the full bear safety breakdown on CPW’s information page.

Remember the advice you acquire there and always be proactive when it comes to safety preparedness when heading out into Colorado’s backyard because we’re sharing it with more than humans.