Monday, July 21, 2003

Had meant to mention the bear attack that occurred last Sunday morning.

A group of five was backcountry camping near Fern Lake when a black bear tore through one tent and bit a camper on the head. When the man yelled the bear released him and moved on to another tent, where it scratched yet another man. The two men received serious lacerations.

It was the first case of a bear attack in RMNP in 30 years. However, this is a puzzling case because the group had taken all the necessary precautions to protect themselves, including storing food in bearproof containers and cooking away from their tents. Black bears rarely attack humans, which makes it even more strange.

The Park closed hiking in the area for the rest of the day and restricted backcountry camping for the following several days. I don't know whether the bear has been captured yet; if and when it is, it will be destroyed.