Bear killed after Boulder County attack had human DNA on claws

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 20:45:45-04

DENVER – A bear killed by state wildlife officials following an attack at a Boulder County campsite had human DNA on its claws. A necropsy released Friday also noted that there were no signs of disease or injury that might have explained the animal's aggression.

The findings seem to confirm the 280-pound bear killed this week was the same one that attacked a 19-year-old staffer at the Glacier View Ranch camp site near the town of Ward early Sunday morning. 

The teen staffer, named Dylan, woke up to the bear biting his head and trying to drag him away. Fellow staffers tried to scare the bear away to save the teen's life. The animal eventually left on its own.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials euthanized the bear after it was located on the Glacier View Property Monday. It was then taken to the agency’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins where a full necropsy of the 4-year-old male bear was performed. 

“We believe this is the bear that attacked the young man," said Mark Leslie, northeast regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “We know we have a lot of bears and a lot of people living and recreating in the Front Range foothills and mountains. This means bears will come into contact with more human-provided food sources and there is more potential for conflict.”

Wildlife officials are encouraging residents to take down bird feeders until after Thanksgiving, bear proof their trash, and discourage bears from getting comfortable near homes and campsites by blowing air horns, banging pots and pans and making every effort to make bears feel unwelcome and unwanted.

The bear is the fifth to be killed in the past week. Four bears were killed in the Durango area on Wednesday. Officials say it’s necessary to kill bears if they become aggressive in their search for food.