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Fatal wildlife attacks rare, but possible

Posted: 10:18 AM, Jun 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-16 16:18:50Z

The deadly gator attack in Florida is a reminder that dangerous wildlife encounters can happen anywhere.

In Colorado, the last fatal bear attack happened in 2009 on the Western Slope.

There have been three fatal mountain lion attacks in Colorado since 1991.

  1. January 1991, 18-year-old Scott Lancaster killed while jogging on his high school track in Idaho Springs.
  2. July 1997, 10-year-old Mark Miedema, of Lakewood, was killed by an adult female cougar while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park when he got ahead of his family.
  3. October 1999, 3-year-old missing boy's remains found and evidence suggests he was killed by mountain lion in the Poudre Canyon outside Ft. Collins.

"Whether it's Florida or Colorado, wildlife are all around us," said Justin Olson, Colorado Parks and Wildlife district manager. "You definitely don't want to provide any food if you're camping. Should an animal approach you, what you generally want to do is make yourself look real big. Make a lot of loud noises."

Since 2010, there have been four fatal black bear attacks in the U.S. and eight fatal grizzly bear attacks. Five of those happened in neighboring Wyoming.  

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