Woman attacked by bear in downtown Aspen

Woman attacked by bear in downtown Aspen

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Woman attacked by bear in downtown Aspen

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shutterstock_113836654Image by Tom Reichner

A woman in Aspen, CO was attacked by a bear early Sunday morning in an alley behind the Isis Theater. Erin Smiddy, an off-duty Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy, was attacked around 2 a.m. by a bear reported to be roughly 400 pounds.

“This could have been a much worse incident but fortunately this deputy was able to fight the bear off,” said Mike Porras, spokesman for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). “Fortunately she knew what to do and she didn’t run.”

Smiddy was swiped by the bear, causing injuries to her stomach and upper thigh. Smiddy received stiches and was released from the hospital.

“This bear is not afraid of people and that’s a concern to us,” Porras went onto say. “This is a threat to health and human safety so our goal is to put this bear down.”

Prior to the attack, the Aspen Police Department responded to a call that people were crowding around a large bear in an unsecured dumpster located in the same alley. An Aspen police scared the bear away but lost sight of the bear after it fled through the courtyard by St. Mary’s Church.

Despite her injuries, Smiddy was quoted as saying that she did not want to see the bear euthanized.

[photo credit: Shutterstock]

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