NEDERLAND, Colorado — A popular hiking spot near Nederland is set to reopen Monday, July 20.
The area around Lost Lake was closed on July 8 due to an aggressive bear, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers said.
On July 11, officers euthanized the suspected bear after it had come into the backcountry campground around Lost Lake. Wildlife officers said they had been searching for the bear, but then it came into the area where they were setting up camp.
> The video above originally aired Feb. 26 and talks about the 5,300 bear conflicts in Colorado in 2019.
CPW said they had received more than a dozen reports of conflicts with the bear going back to 2017.
The bear had reportedly ripped into unoccupied tents in search of unsecured food, according to CPW.
The bear also did not show fear, sometimes coming within 20 feet of people, CPW said.
“We don't normally manage conflict bears in the backcountry,” said Area Wildlife Manager Jason Duetsch. “If backcountry campers want to prevent something like this from happening again, they should invest in a bear canister to secure their food and scented items so bears do not get rewarded and become conditioned to living off of human food sources. When they do, they become aggressive, working to get what they can smell is there, and that is when public safety is at risk.”
The Lost Lake area is a "low-density area" for bears, according to CPW.
CPW said the 200-pound male bear was estimated to be between 4-8 years old. The bear had birdshot in both its hindquarters as well as an injury to its left rear leg that didn't allow it to straighten the leg out completely.
The bear's meat was harvested and donated, CPW said.
The Lost Lake Trail is just under 4 1/2 miles long and can be accessed off of the Hessie Trailhead near Eldora.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado Guide