Home / Blog / Man relaxing in hammock hears a sound — then feels bear’s bite, Colorado officials say

Man relaxing in hammock hears a sound — then feels bear’s bite, Colorado officials say

Jan 29, 2024Jan 29, 2024

A man was relaxing in a hammock at a southern Colorado campsite when a black bear showed up in the darkness and bit him on his arm, wildlife officials said.

It happened just before 10 p.m. Saturday at a campground in the Purgatoire River bottoms in Trinidad, about 116 miles south of Colorado Springs, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release.

The man heard a rustling sound while he was in the hammock, turned on his head lamp and saw the bear next to him, he told wildlife officers.

It bit the upper part of his right arm before turning and wandering off, he told officers.

He left the campground and went to a motel to call for an ambulance. He was treated at a hospital for the 2- or 3-inch bite, officials said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials searched the campground with a team of dogs and set a trap in case it returned, officials said.

It was the third reported bear attack in Colorado this year, officials said.

“Bear attacks are rare and we take them very seriously,” Mike Brown, the agency’s wildlife manager for the region, said in the news release. “We are doing everything we can to locate this bear. And we continue to investigate the incident. Luckily, the victim’s injury appears to be relatively minor.”

Officials plan to kill the bear once they find it, per Colorado Parks and Wildlife policy. Any bear that attacks a human is considered dangerous, officials said.

While the man didn’t have any food or other strongly scented things that would have attracted the bear to his hammock, it’s possible the bear returned to the area after previously finding food at the campground, officials said.

That’s why it’s important to be mindful of potential bear activity when camping — in case bears have found food inside tents or at other areas of campgrounds and return for more, officials said.

Campers should take the following precautions to make sure there’s nothing attracting bears to their camp.

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