The man says he was putting his feet up at a campsite east of Interstate 25 in Trinidad on Saturday night when he heard a rustling noise. He turned on his headlamp and discovered a dark-colored bear beside him. The startled animal bit him on the upper arm before wandering off.
The injured man left the campground and went to a local motel, where he called for emergency assistance. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for a 2-3in bite.
According to a statement, CPW was notified of the attack at around 10pm, and immediately set a trap and began searching the area with dogs. Close encounters with bears are often the result of animals seeking out human food, but officials found no evidence of food, garbage, or anything else that might have attracted the animal nearby.
Officials explained that this sometimes happens if bears have found food in a tent before, and have come to associate campsites with an easy meal, regardless of whether they can smell anything there. Many bears have learned to look for camping coolers, bags, and boxes, which they have discovered are often full of food.
They urged people to take great care with food, garbage, and toiletries when camping and hiking in bear country, and keep everything locked securely out of reach.
"Bears are attracted to odors of all kinds and will investigate anything interesting in hopes of finding food," CPW said. "Don’t bring anything with an odor into your tent – that includes all foods, beverages, chapstick, scented toiletries, gum, toothpaste, sunscreen, candles and insect repellant. Don’t sleep in the clothes you cooked in; store them with your food."
Bears that attack people are usually euthanized when caught, even if they were acting defensively, so it's essential to take care to prevent them associating people and settlements with a quick meal. For more details, see our guide to bear habituation, and why it's so dangerous.
- What to do if you meet a bear: a guide to wildlife safety
All the latest inspiration, tips and guides to help you plan your next Advnture!
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).