“I came around to take a peek and sure enough my worst nightmare was from that point.”
He says the bear knew how to open doors and just let itself inside. At some point during the encounter the bear swiped the man with his paw leaving severe cuts to his face.
“I ran back to a table at that point and luckily that was able to separate us. I just started screaming as loud as I could. I was very deep, loud and he decided to go. He opened another door and was on his way out.”
Chernosky was taken to a hospital in Grand Junction for surgery. He has a series of claw marks with stitches along his cheek, jaw, and ear as well as his back but will make a full recovery.
“I literally thought I might be dead. It was a pretty humbling moment because I realized how vulnerable I was. There was nothing I could do.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife brought in hounds to search for the bear. It was located and euthanized due to the nature of the attack. DNA samples were taken to verify it is the same bear involved in the attack.
“It actually could be a real good learning experience for all of us. This is real. We live in a place where we want it to be wilderness. And when you choose that then we’re going to live alongside – we have to be careful.”