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Bear that "swiped" hiker euthanized; cubs relocated, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says

Bear that "swiped" hiker euthanized; cubs relocated: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Bear that "swiped" hiker euthanized; cubs relocated: Colorado Parks and Wildlife 00:21

A bear that Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say "swiped" a hiker near Steamboat Springs last week has been trapped and euthanized after a search, the agency said. Two of its three cubs were also trapped and relocated to another area of the state.

The third bear cub was not trapped after CPW officials said the bears are old enough to survive in the wild without their mother.

The incident that prompted the search for those bears occurred last Tuesday on the path connecting Walton Creek Road and Mt. Werner Circle near the ski resort. A person, who has not been identified by officials, was walking the path when a bear swiped them from behind, causing them to fall. They finished their walk and then reported the incident to CPW and was treated for minor injuries.

Wildlife officers set traps in the area and posted signage warning hikers about increased bear activity. Wednesday afternoon, the sow and two of her cubs were trapped and wildlife officers concluded the sow was the bear that attacked the hiker. She was euthanized, per CPW policy, the agency said, and her remains will be sent to a lab in Fort Collins for analysis.

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A Getty Images file photo shows a mother bear taking refuge in a tree along Goose Creek Path near 28th St. and Mapleton Ave. on Friday, Sep. 25, 2015. David Jennings/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

The two cubs that were captured were relocated to southern Routt County, where wildlife officials say food sources such as grass, plants and insects are abundant.

Steamboat Springs, about 160 miles northeast of Denver, is home to a popular ski resort with a population of about 13,000 people but grows by several thousand during ski season.

Colorado is home to thousands of bears. Black bears -- the only kind observed in Colorado -- are not commonly aggressive unless they're startled or protecting their cubs, but they can be unpredictable. In 2023, there were three documented bear attacks on humans in the state, CPW says.

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