Sheepherder is severely injured when black bear attacks him in Colorado wilderness

Jul 14, 2023, 10:46 AM | Updated: 2:06 pm

DENVER (AP) — A black bear attacked a sheepherder in the Colorado mountains, leaving the 35-year-old man severely injured with bites to his head and other wounds, wildlife officials said. The bear suspected of attacking him was later killed.

The attack, the first reported in Colorado this year, happened early Tuesday in the Weiminuche Wilderness in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado, the state Parks and Wildlife department said in a news release.

The man awoke to a disturbance between the bear and his sheep at about 1 a.m. and fired a rifle at the bear before being attacked, the agency said. The man was bitten on the head and had wounds to an arm and hand, officials said.

After managing to return to his tent and contact his cousin, he was airlifted to one hospital and then another for surgery, it said. He was released on Wednesday.

He worked for a rancher who had a permit to allow sheep to graze in the remote area, the agency said, a common summer practice with livestock.

State wildlife officials worked with an agent and a team of dogs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service to track the bear. A male bear with chest wounds and weighing about 250 pounds was found and shot Tuesday night, Parks and Wildlife officials said.

“This is a difficult part of the job,” Parks and Wildlife area wildlife manager Adrian Archuleta said in the news release. “But when it comes to injuries to humans as a result of a predator attack, human health and safety is our top priority.”

The bear also killed two sheep and fed on them, Parks and Wildlife spokesperson John Livingston said Friday. Wool was found in its stomach and human DNA was found on its claws, but further testing is needed to confirm that the DNA matches that taken from the human, he said.

The bear tested negative for rabies, Livingston said.

Black bears eat mostly berries and acorns but will attack smaller animals like sheep, goats and chickens if they have an opportunity, he said.

United States News

FILE - President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom wait for reporters to leave the room du...

Associated Press

California governor to name Laphonza Butler, former Kamala Harris adviser, to Feinstein Senate seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom will name Laphonza Butler, a Democratic strategist and adviser to Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a spokesman in his office said Sunday. In choosing Butler, Newsom fulfilled his pledge to appoint a Black woman […]

1 hour ago

File - The Southern University Human Jukebox marching band warms up before the 2023 National Battle...

Associated Press

Federal student loan payments are starting again. Here’s what you need to know

Federal student loan borrowers will need to start making payments again this month after a three-year-plus pause due to the pandemic.

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A woman who fled the Maui wildfire on foot has died after weeks in a hospital burn unit

HONOLULU (AP) — A woman who escaped a wildfire that destroyed Hawaii community by running through a burning field has died after spending more than seven weeks in a hospital burn unit. Laurie Allen died Friday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to a gofundme page set up for her and her husband, Perry […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Inmate accused of killing corrections officer at Georgia prison

GLENNVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia prison guard died Sunday after he was attacked by an inmate, state officials said. Correctional officer Robert Clark, 42, died at a hospital after an inmate assaulted him with a homemade weapon at Smith State Prison in rural Glennville, the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a news release. […]

9 hours ago

FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Wednesday, Aug 30, 2023, in Washington. The new term of the ...

Associated Press

The Supreme Court may tackle guns, abortion in new session starting Monday

Major cases await, as they always do, including several challenges to regulatory agencies and efforts to regulate social media platforms.

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Video shows bloodied Black man surrounded by officers during Florida traffic stop

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A traffic stop captured on video by a bystander shows a handcuffed Black man with swollen eyes and a bloody face sitting on the ground surrounded by officers outside a vehicle in northeast Florida, and the officers’ law enforcement agency says it has launched an internal review. Force was used while […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Home moving relocation in Arizona 2023...

BMS Moving

Tips for making your move in Arizona easier

If you're moving to a new home in Arizona, use this to-do list to alleviate some stress and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.

Sheepherder is severely injured when black bear attacks him in Colorado wilderness