Portions of Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs were closed on Thursday after a bear reportedly confronted a hiker and his dogs. KKTV 11 reports it is unclear when the trails will reopen but hounds were called in to search for the animal. The hiker says he and his two dogs were only 100 yards up on the trail when the bear approached them.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife shared this account of the encounter:
“He said one dog, a Labrador, alerted at something in the thick scrub oak brush that surrounds the trail and it bolted, pulling its leash out of the hiker’s grasp, to go investigate. Soon, the hiker said he and his other dog, a Puggle mix breed, were confronted by a cinnamon-colored bear he estimated at 150 pounds.
He said the bear showed no fear of him or the dogs. In fact, he said the bear aggressively pursued the smaller dog, which was still on its leash. The hiker said he kicked the bear in the head to stop it from attacking his pet.
In the chaos, the hiker fell in gravel and suffered minor scratches on his legs. Again, he said, he kicked the bear in the head to prevent it from attacking his dog. The hiker said he was able to regain his footing and throw rocks at the bear, which turned and walked down the trail and disappeared. The bear never bit or clawed the hiker or his dogs.
The hiker was treated at the scene for minor scrapes on his legs by CPW officers, gave an account of the incident and left the scene. The City of Colorado Springs closed all nearby trails at the suggestion of CPW officers.”
Section 16 Trailhead, Palmer Loop Trail and the southern end of Red Rock Canyon will remain closed until further notice to allow officials to safely conduct their search.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife “What to Do if You See a Bear.”
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