Bear Mauls Woman in Her Backyard

Colorado resident suffered severely lacerated arm; sow and cub were killed
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2022 11:12 AM CDT
Bear Mauls Woman in Her Backyard
A black bear sow.   (Getty Images/htrnr)

A Colorado woman who noticed the lid on her hot tub had been partially removed went out to fix it around 2am Wednesday, only to be attacked by a bear. The bear charged at the woman, then took a swipe with a clawed paw, "severely lacerating" her arm, according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife release. Though the species of bear was not disclosed, the black bear is the only bear species currently found in Colorado. The woman, who also suffered scratches on her back, was able to flee inside her home in New Castle, three hours west of Denver, and call 911, CBS News reports. She ended up at a hospital, but the bear suffered worse.

CPW instructed a police officer to shoot and kill the sow spotted with three cubs in a tree near the woman's home, which is close to a middle school, per the release. CPW officials decided to euthanize the cubs as well, as it was then unclear which of the bears had actually attacked. But they managed to kill only one as they couldn't get clear and safe shots at the other two. It was later determined the adult female had attacked the woman and the two surviving cubs were tranquilized, removed from the tree, then taken to a rehabilitation facility, per USA Today. The remains of the other two bears were sent to a lab for analysis.

The woman had been fixing the lid on her hot tub when she saw the sow come out of the tree and charge. Officials said the family of bears had been seen in the area beforehand but weren't relocated as they had not shown signs of aggression toward humans. There have been just four fatal bear maulings in the state since 1960, the Guardian reported last year, when a woman was killed and partially eaten by a bear or bear family in Durango. A 10-year-old sow and two cubs were later killed. (Read more bear attack stories.)

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