Bear Encounter Roundup: Eating Ice Cream and Shopping for Fur Coats

Bears have been busy this summer. We take a look at what they’ve been up to.
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Bears have been busy this summer. We take a look at what they’ve been up to.

Maybe we’re just getting too close, or maybe bears have just gotten smarter--or maybe it’s both. Any which way, it seems like our large furry friends are getting into more trouble this year, especially in the celebrity playground of Aspen, CO.

Here’s a round up of interesting bear tales of late:

September 10: An Aspen, CO man is attacked in his home. He became suspicious when his three dogs began barking loudly. Upon further inquiry, the man discovered a large black bear in the first floor of his home. When confronted, the man was struck by the bear but managed to open a window and the bear escaped. The man was taken to the hospital, but his injuries are not considered life threatening.

September 5: As it turns out, the dead bolts the Timberline Lodge in Fraser, CO installed to keep the bears out, actually kept one in. While locked inside, the bear feasted on ice cream and brown sugar he discovered after tearing the padlock off the walk in the freezer. The bear later escaped through a window.

August 18th: An Aspen, CO woman was on her way to do some work in her office on the main floor of her home when she encountered a black bear. She tried to open the door to let it out, but the bear got to her first. The woman sustained lacerations to her back and chest as a result Afterward the bear helped himself to a bag of candy, and chocolate toffees, he then escaped. The Department of Wildlfe set traps, but has yet to find the bear.

August 11: A seriously confused small bear is sighted wandering around a fur shop in Aspen CO (wrong place to be buddy!). He enters through the open front door, takes a look around and wanders back out. No one was injured.

And that was just the past month. Wildlife officers in Aspen responded to 138 calls in July alone, compare that to 188 calls in June and July of 2008 combined.

So why are so many bears getting into trouble?

According to wildlife officers, sparse food is the culprit. A very wet spring in the high country, hurt some plants as opposed to helping them so bears are looking for sustenance in other places.

Word to the wise? Lock your doors up tight. And as always, please, please, PLEASE, DO NOT feed bears.

Need some tips on how to fend off a bear if you do encounter one? We’ve got just the video for you:

Survival Skills: Survive a Bear Attack [http ://www.backpacker.com/survival_skills_survive_a_bear_attack/videos/40]

--Jordan Olmsted

Bear Attacks, Injures Aspen Woman In Her Home (ABC)

Another Bear Attack In Aspen (Colorado Division of Wildlife)

Bear Visits Mountain Lodge, Gets Locked Inside (CBS)