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Authorities hunting for bear that popped beach ball, then attacked campers

Black bear in woodland
(Image credit: Getty)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is searching for a bear that attacked a family at a campsite at Monument Park Resort near Trinidad.

According to CPW (opens in new tab), the incident started when the animal stepped on a beachball outside the family's tent, waking and frightening their two-year-old daughter. While comforting her child, the girl's mother says she believes she brushed against the side of the tent, which prompted the bear to swipe at the fabric and tear through it.

The woman received only scratches, but because the bear made contact with a human, the incident is classed as an attack under CPW rules. The bear has yet to be found, but the organization has set a trap and is carrying out a search with the Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service. If caught, it will be euthanized.

Mike Brown, CPW’s Area Wildlife Manager for the region, described the incident as unfortunate because the bear was not behaving aggressively. “If the bear intended to harm the woman, the outcome would have been much worse,” he said in a statement. “The evidence of the investigation illustrates that bears react to the environment they live in.”

Bear encounters are on the rise in many US states as the animals become bolder in their search for food after waking from hibernation. The best ways to keep yourself safe are to always pay close attention to local advice, and keep your distance. For detailed advice, see our guide on what to do if you meet a bear.

Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).