NEW CASTLE, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are searching for a bear that attacked a man in New Castle Saturday night.
According to CPW, the attack took place around 10:30 p.m. in the Garfield County town. CPW said the victim heard a noise in his backyard and went to investigate. Once outside, the man startled a bear who was in his backyard and the bear immediately knocked the man to the ground.
CPW said that during the attack, the man used one arm to protect his face and used the other hand to grab his gun. The man fired three shots and scared the bear away, but was unsure if any shots hit the bear.
The man was taken to a local hospital by family members with minor injuries to his hand and arm. He also received bruising on his chest from the bear holding him to the ground. The man was released from the hospital Sunday morning.
Once CPW heard of the attack, officers arrived on scene around 2 a.m. to look for the bear. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted in the search and used a drone with infrared sensors.
Due to heavy rain in the area, it was difficult for officers to locate a possible blood trail and track the bear. As of Sunday night, the bear has not been located.
“This is an unfortunate reminder that we need to be vigilant and ‘bear aware’ at all times,” said Area Wildlife Manager Kirk Oldham. “We continue to see a lot of bear activity during the overnight hours as bears prepare for hibernation. Easy access to food sources, such as trash and fruit from trees that have fallen to the ground, will attract bears. Simple steps like picking up fruit and removing any attractants around your home are important in preventing incidents like this.”
CPW officers will continue their search Monday. Community members are asked to contact Colorado State Patrol if they see an injured or dead bear.
This is the second bear attack in New Castle this year. Back in August, a woman was seriously injured by a bear in her backyard.