Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Man not attacked by bear

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:20 PM

click image It wasn't me. - JITZE COUPERUS
  • Jitze Couperus
  • It wasn't me.

There's an old saying in journalism that goes something like this: A dog biting a man isn't a story, but a man biting a dog is.

Well, what about a bear not biting a man?  Colorado Parks and Wildlife has concluded that a Grand Junction hunter in his 60s was not attacked by a bear, as he claimed. The man crashed his ATV after he says a bear attacked him. But the CPW says that there is "conclusive evidence that a bear did not attack this individual."

The CPW isn't releasing the hunter's name, and it clarifies that the man may have seen something that startled him. Just not a bear.


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Wildlife officers from the Grand Junction area have completed their investigation of the reported bear attack and mauling on the Grand Mesa Saturday evening, concluding that the injuries to the individual were not caused by a bear.

The man, a hunter in his late 60s, was parked on his ATV on Forest Service Road 105, above Powderhorn Ski Resort, when he says a bear approached and attacked, causing him to drive over a small cliff into large rocks below. The crash resulted in extensive but non-life threatening injuries.

"We investigated this incident thoroughly over the last three days, including the use of specially trained dogs from the USDA's Wildlife Services, examination of the injuries, and forensic crime scene examination and we found conclusive evidence that a bear did not attack this individual," said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager JT Romatzke. "This individual is certain that he saw a bear. We are not discounting that he saw something that caused him to react."

Romatzke adds that some of the initial media reports that a bear had attacked and mauled the individual, based on law enforcement scanner traffic, proved to be premature.

"People get very concerned about wildlife conflicts, and it is not helpful to cause unneeded alarm," said Romatzke. "Just like a typical crime scene, all possible conflicts with wildlife require extensive investigation to come to accurate, factual conclusions. It's important for the public to get the right information, especially when it comes to issues that potentially affect their safety."

The hunter's name is not being released.

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