A bear attacked a security guard inside the kitchen of a Colorado hotel, officials said.
The security guard was able to get away from the bear to call 911, and he was treated for scratches on his back at a hospital late Monday, Oct. 23, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said in an Oct. 24 news release.
How did the bear get far enough into the St. Regis Aspen Resort to make it to the kitchen, you ask?
It navigated its way through not one, not two, but a “series of doors” near the hotel’s courtyard, officials said.
The resort sits at the foot of Aspen Mountain, just south of the White River National Forest and about 200 miles southwest of Denver.
When the security guard heard reports there was a bear inside the hotel, he went to investigate, officials said.
He was in the kitchen just before 11 p.m. when he turned a corner and surprised the bear, officials said. It swiped at him and knocked him to the ground, but he was able to get away and call 911.
He was released from the hospital Tuesday morning.
Wildlife officers searched for the bear after the attack. That’s when they learned it had made its way through multiple doors near the courtyard, officials said.
Officers got a description of the bear and found it near the hotel early Tuesday morning, but they weren’t able to safely capture it without endangering those at the hotel, officials said.
They went back to search again Tuesday night. Officials have not yet given an update on the result of that search.
“This incident serves as an unfortunate reminder that bears are still active as they prepare for hibernation,” officials said in the release. “While it is common for people to see bears and other wildlife inside Aspen town limits, it is everyone’s responsibility to give wildlife space and remember the importance of being ‘bear aware’ at all times.”
What to do if you see a bear
Bear attacks in the U.S. are rare, according to the National Park Service. In most attacks, bears are trying to defend their food, cubs or space.
There are steps people can take to help prevent a bear encounter from becoming a bear attack.
Identify yourself: Talk calmly and slowly wave your arms. This can help the bear realize you’re a human and nonthreatening.
Stay calm: Bears usually don’t want to attack; they want to be left alone. Talk slowly and with a low voice to the bear.
Don’t scream: Screaming could trigger an attack.
Pick up small children: Don’t let kids run away from the bear. It could think they’re small prey.
Hike in groups: A group is noisier and smellier, the National Park Service said. Bears like to keep their distance from groups of people.
Make yourself look big: Move to higher ground and stand tall. Don’t make any sudden movements.
Don’t drop your bag: A bag on your back can keep a bear from accessing food, and it can provide protection.
Walk away slowly: Move sideways so you appear less threatening to the bear. This also lets you keep an eye out.
Again, don’t run: Bears will chase you, just like a dog would.
Don’t climb trees: Grizzlies and black bears can also climb.