NEW CASTLE, Colo. — One bear was shot and another euthanized after an attack on a woman in New Castle early Wednesday.
The New Castle Police Department said officers responded to the Castle Valley Ranch neighborhood just after 2 a.m. for a report of a bear attack.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the victim had noticed the lid to her hot tub was partially removed and was outside putting it back on when she saw a bear coming out of a tree and charging at her. The bear swiped at her, severely cutting her arm and scratching her back, CPW said. She was able to get back inside and call 911.
When police arrived, they found a sow and three cubs. CPW told the officers to shoot and kill the sow, so they tracked it down and did so, CPW said.
When CPW arrived about an hour later, they didn't yet know if the sow or one of the cubs had attacked the woman, so they decided to euthanize the cubs. They euthanized one, but because the other two were in a tree near a busy road and several homes, they decided to wait to euthanize them, CPW said.
CPW investigated and determined only the sow had been involved in the attack. They then tranquilized the other two cubs and took them to a rehabilitation facility.
CPW said the sow and three cubs had been seen in the area before the attack, but they didn't show any aggression toward humans or other behaviors that would have required them to be relocated.
"We are deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts go out to the citizen that was attacked, as well as the bears involved," New Castle Police wrote on Facebook.
CPW recently warned Coloradans that as fall approaches, bear activity will increase in urban areas as the animals prepare for hibernation. Bears spend up to 20 hours a day trying to eat more than 20,000 calories to fatten up for winter.
Most conflicts between people and bears can be traced to easily accessible human food, trash, shrubs or other attractants with strong odors. CPW recommends removing such attractants from outside homes and campsites.
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