Colorado Wildlife Agents Intend To Kill Bear That Bit Man’s Arm

Colorado wildlife agents on Tuesday are tracking and want to kill a black bear that bit a man’s arm while he was relaxing in a hammock over the weekend.

Mark Heinz

August 08, 20233 min read

A man suffered wounds to his upper right arm when a bear bit him as he was relaxing in a hammock in a Colorado campground late Saturday.
A man suffered wounds to his upper right arm when a bear bit him as he was relaxing in a hammock in a Colorado campground late Saturday. (Photo Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

A black bear walked up to a man relaxing in a hammock in a Colorado campground late Saturday and bit the man’s arm before wandering off.

Wildlife agents were still hunting for the bear on Tuesday, with the intention of killing it.

Under Colorado Parks and Wildlife policy, “any bear that attacks a human is classified as a dangerous bear and, if captured, must be humanely euthanized,” according to an agency statement.

The attack happened in a campground in the Purgatorie River bottoms east of Interstate 25 near Trinidad.

‘Heard A Rustling Noise’

The man, whose name wasn’t released, was treated for bite wounds that appeared to be “relatively minor,” according to CPW.

He told wildlife officers that he was resting in a hammock after dark Saturday when he heard a “rustling noise.”

He turned on his headlamp and saw a dark-colored bear next to him. The bear bit him on the upper right arm and wandered off, according to CPW.

The man apparently didn’t have any food or other attractants nearby.

He went to a nearby motel to call for help, and CPW agents responded and began searching for the bear. A team of dogs was brought in to help track the bear.

‘Relatively Average’ Bear Trouble Year

The attack is the third black bear incident this year in Colorado, CPW spokesman Joey Livingston told Cowboy State Daily.

That makes it a “relatively average year” for bear conflicts, he said.

There were three bear incidents in Colorado in 2022, two — including a fatality — in 2021, seven in 2020 and six in 2019, he said.

Colorado has a robust black bear population, but there haven’t been any verified sightings of grizzlies there for decades.

There are ample natural food sources for bears in Colorado this year, Livingston added.  

“The majority of Colorado saw high levels of moisture in the spring and summer, leading to good natural forage production and a relatively good year for bears in the state,” he said.

Bear Trouble in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho

There has been trouble with black bears throughout the region this spring and summer.

At about 3 a.m. Thursday, a black bear broke into a couple’s home in Luther, Montana (near Red Lodge) and the man shot and killed it with a handgun.

A female black bear attacked a man last week as he opened his garage door in Victor, Idaho, near the Wyoming state line. Idaho Game and Fish agents later killed the bear and her cub.

There were several run-ins earlier this year with black bears in and near Sheridan. Wyoming Game and Fish department agents trapped and relocated some of the bears, but two were killed.

Most recently, a young male black bear was killed after it entered two houses and ended up on the front porch of a third home in Big Horn, near Sheridan. 

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter