Bear bursts into home, injures 82-year-old woman inside, Colorado officials say

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A young bear burst into a Colorado home and injured an 82-year-old woman inside, Colorado officials said.

The encounter took place shortly after midnight Friday, Aug. 11, in Boncarbo, a community near Trinidad, state Parks and Wildlife officials said in a news release.

The woman, who was awakened by a crashing sound and her dog growling, discovered a cinnamon-colored black bear weighing about 100 pounds in her mud room, officials said.

The bear, estimated to be a cub or yearling, leaped at her, officials said. The woman pushed the bear off her and closed the door, suffering scratches to her legs.

The bear “scrambled frantically around the room,” then climbed some shelves and escaped by smashing through a window screen, wildlife officials said.

Officials set a trap for the bear in case it returns. It is the second bear attack in the Trinidad area in two weeks, but officials do not believe the incidents are related.

Trinidad is about 200 miles south of Denver.

What to do if you see a bear

Bear attacks in the U.S. are rare, according to the National Park Service. In most attacks, bears are trying to defend their food, cubs or space.

There are steps people can take to help prevent a bear encounter from becoming a bear attack.

  • Identify yourself: Talk calmly and slowly wave your arms. This can help the bear realize you’re a human and nonthreatening.

  • Stay calm: Bears usually don’t want to attack; they want to be left alone. Talk slowly and with a low voice to the bear.

  • Don’t scream: Screaming could trigger an attack.

  • Pick up small children: Don’t let kids run away from the bear. It could think they’re small prey.

  • Hike in groups: A group is noisier and smellier, the National Park Service said. Bears like to keep their distance from groups of people.

  • Make yourself look big: Move to higher ground and stand tall. Don’t make any sudden movements.

  • Don’t drop your bag: A bag on your back can keep a bear from accessing food, and it can provide protection.

  • Walk away slowly: Move sideways so you appear less threatening to the bear. This also lets you keep an eye out.

  • Again, don’t run: Bears will chase you, just like a dog would.

  • Don’t climb trees: Grizzlies and black bears can also climb.

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