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Colorado Park Rangers Use Video to Identify and Euthanize ‘Aggressive’ Bear After Hotel Kitchen Attack 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife have successfully captured and euthanized a bear that broke into an Aspen hotel and attacked a security guard. 

The initial incident happened late Monday night at the St. Regis Aspen Resort. Reports say a security guard investigated after reports of a bear in the hotel’s kitchen. 

In the video, the bear is seen roaming around the kitchen, followed by the security guard shortly afterward. Moments later, the bear is startled and lunges at the security guard, who is knocked to the ground. Fortunately, the security guard escapes from the bear and calls 911.

An ambulance transported the security guard to a nearby hospital for scratches on his back, but he was released shortly later. 

Colorado Parks & Wildlife say their agency, the Aspen Police Department and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, tracked the bear down less than 48 hours later on Wednesday morning. After hazing the animal up a tree, they used a tranquilizer gun to capture the bear. 

Officials used the security footage to identify the bear with its white markings. Due to the bear’s aggressive nature, CPW euthanized the animal.

“During our initial investigation we gathered witness statements along with photos and videos from hotel security cameras,” said Matt Yamashita, Area Wildlife Manager, in a press release. “All played an important part in our investigation. Using the footage provided by the hotel, we were able to confirm the aggressive behavior of the bear and identify unique physical characteristics of the bear that assisted in the proper identification of the offending bear.”

Wildlife officials say most incidents involving bears and aggressive behavior happen in the fall while bears are preparing to hibernate. The animal’s drive for food will lead them to new extremes.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials estimate the state has between 17,000 and 20,000 bears. Wildlife managers occasionally need to euthanize bears for one of three reasons:

  • Dangerous Bears – Animals that pose an immediate threat to human safety, as there was in this Aspen bear attack.
  • Depredating Bears – Bears that have killed or injured livestock, or pose another threat to agricultural products.
  • Repeat Nuisance Bears – These bears pose an immediate threat or damage to property but not public safety. Wildlife officials will often try to relocate these bears first. 

Learn more about bear safety.

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