Colorado Parks and Wildlife report a security guard was attacked by a black bear that wondered into the St. Regis Aspen Resort Monday night. The bear was identified, captured and euthanized after it was determined it deemed dangerous.

Security footage from the St. Regis shows the bear walking through the kitchen area of the hotel and disappearing behind a corner as a security enters the frame investigating reports of a bear on the property. The bear reemerges around the corner where it runs into the security guard and stands up on its hind legs in a brief physical altercation with the security guard that left him on the floor in the prone position.

The guard did sustain injuries after getting swiped by the bear. He was hospitalized overnight and released the following morning.


Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers responded to a bear attack at the St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen late Monday night. The victim, a male security guard, was transported to an area hospital by ambulance with injuries to his back.

Around 11 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, Colorado Parks and Wildlife was notified by Aspen Police Department (APD) of a bear attack inside the kitchen of the hotel.

After receiving reports of a bear inside the hotel, the on-duty security guard went to investigate. While in the kitchen, the security guard surprised the bear as he was going around a corner into another area of the kitchen. The bear attacked the guard, swiping at him and knocking him down to the ground. He was able to get away from the bear and call 911. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he received care for scratches to his back, and was later released from the hospital early Tuesday morning. 

Wildlife officers arrived on scene just after midnight, Tuesday, Oct. 24 to investigate and search for the bear. During the investigation wildlife officers learned the bear had entered the hotel through a series of doors near the courtyard. Wildlife officers were also able to get a description of the bear, including specific identification markers to assist in locating and properly identifying the bear. 

CPW wildlife officers remained in the area to search for the bear responsible for the attack. As of early Tuesday morning, wildlife officers were able to locate the bear in an area near the hotel; however, due to public safety they were unable to safely tranquilize and capture the bear. Wildlife officers will return to the area and continue search efforts Tuesday evening.

This incident serves as an unfortunate reminder that bears are still active as they prepare for hibernation. While it is common for people to see bears and other wildlife inside Aspen town limits, it is everyone’s responsibility to give wildlife space and remember the importance of being “bear aware” at all times.

We would like to thank our partners at the Aspen Police Department for their response and assistance during this incident.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife followup statement that they located the bear and it was euthanized:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers were able to capture the bear responsible for the attack in Aspen in the early hours of Wednesday, Oct. 25.

CPW wildlife officers in partnership with Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office resumed the search for the bear just after 10 p.m. Tuesday night. Wildlife officers spotted the bear near Conner Park, off E. Hopkins Ave. Wildlife officers watched the bear, looking for identifiable markings, and eventually hazed the bear into a tree at the park around 2 a.m. Using a tranquilizer gun, wildlife officers were able to chemically immobilize the bear.  

Using information gathered during the investigation and security footage provided by the hotel, wildlife officers were able to positively identify the bear once it was safely removed from the tree using an Aspen Fire ladder truck. 

“During our initial investigation we gathered witness statements along with photos and videos from hotel security cameras,” said Matt Yamashita, Area Wildlife Manager. “All played an important part in our investigation. Using the footage provided by the hotel, we were able to confirm the aggressive behavior of the bear and identify unique physical characteristics of the bear that assisted in the proper identification of the offending bear.”

In the video, wildlife officers were able to see a distinctive white patch located on the bear’s chest. While it is common to see bears in Aspen, this spot on the bear’s chest helped wildlife officers distinguish it from other bears in the area and confirm it was the bear responsible for the attack. Officers did note, while searching for this bear, eight other bears were seen moving around downtown Aspen.

The bear, determined to be a boar, was taken away from the area and humanely euthanized per CPW policy. The bear was sent to the CPW Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins where a full necropsy will be performed. 

We would like to thank our partners at the Aspen Police Department, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, and Aspen Fire for their assistance during this incident. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife would also like to thank the St. Regis Hotel for their cooperation after the attack and during the investigation process. While most human bear conflict is the result of not taking proper precautionary measures, CPW staff noted the lack of food related attractants and cleanliness of the kitchen. 

Wildlife managers estimate that Colorado has between 17,000 – 20,000 bears and the population is stable and growing. CPW has clear guidelines on how to handle black bear incidents and predator attacks. Bears in Colorado are euthanized for one of three reasons: dangerous bears, depredating bears, and nuisance bears that receive two strikes. Nuisance bears are bears which pose an immediate threat to or damage property, but do not threaten public safety. Depredating bears are bears which have injured or killed livestock as defined by statute, or pose a threat to agricultural products or resources as defined by statute. Dangerous bears are bears which pose an immediate threat to human safety. CPW takes no action on the vast majority of bears deemed nuisance bears, but must occasionally relocate them. 

RELATED: Colorado Man Clawed By Black Bear Inside Aspen Hom

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