Trinidad Colorado bear attack

CPW Searches for Bear After Home Invasion Near Trinidad; Elderly Woman Suffers Minor Injuries

TRINIDAD, CO  Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers are on the hunt for a small cinnamon-colored black bear, which broke into a home near Boncarbo, west of Trinidad, shortly after midnight on Friday, August 11, 2023. The bear scratched an 82-year-old woman’s legs before fleeing through an open window.

CPW Officer Bob Holder was alerted to the incident later that day and has initiated a search in the area.

The victim described being awakened by a crashing sound and her dog’s growling. Upon opening the doors to her mudroom, she was confronted by the bear. Quick thinking allowed her to push the bear away and secure the double doors. The bear, believed by CPW to be a cub or yearling based on the description, weighed less than 100 pounds according to the victim.

The bear eventually escaped by climbing a shelf and tearing through an open window screen. Officer Holder has set a trap for the bear in the event it returns.

Mike Brown, CPW’s Area Wildlife Manager for the region, stressed the importance of human safety. “Human health and safety always remain our top priority in any incident like this, regardless of how minor the injuries are,” he said. “CPW officers are doing everything we can to locate this bear. Luckily, the victim’s injuries consist of very minor scratches.”

Under CPW policy, any bear that injures a human is classified as dangerous and must be humanely euthanized if captured.

The victim declined medical treatment for her scratches.

This incident marks the second bear attack in the Trinidad area within two weeks and the fourth reported bear attack in Colorado in 2023. However, CPW does not believe the two recent Trinidad incidents are related.

Wildlife Safety Tips

Living and recreating in bear country brings inherent responsibilities. Following are tips for maintaining safety:

  1. Secure Your Home: Keep doors and windows locked, especially at night, to prevent unwanted wildlife entry.
  2. Store Food Properly: Bears are attracted to food. Store food securely and keep pet food indoors.
  3. Be Bear Aware: Educate yourself on bear behavior and take appropriate precautions. CPW offers resources on its website.
  4. Avoid Confrontation: If you encounter a bear, make noise to scare it away and never corner it. Give the bear a clear escape route.
  5. Report Incidents Promptly: If a bear does enter your home or poses a threat, report the incident to CPW or local authorities as soon as possible.

For more detailed tips on how to live and recreate safely in the mountains, check out our comprehensive mountain safety guide for more info.

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Alex Derr, Creator of The Next Summit

Alex is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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