Colorado Parks and Wildlife continued its search Friday for a black bear that reportedly acted aggressively toward a hiker and his two dogs on a Red Rock Canyon Open Space trail.

The hiker said the bruin approached Thursday afternoon after he and his dogs hiked 100 yards up the Section 16 trail. He said one of his leashed dogs bolted toward the scrub oak alongside the trail, and the bear then emerged and headed toward him.

The hiker told CPW officials that he kicked the bear in its head and threw rocks at it until it retreated. He fell and scraped his legs during the scuffle.

Parks and Wildlife staff took hounds out Thursday evening to track the bear, but heavy rains stymied the dogs’ ability to track the bear’s scent, said Frank McGee, area wildlife manager for Colorado Springs.

Camera traps and foot snares will be set up in the area, McGee said. If the target bear is not caught within several days, the traps will be removed. By then, the bear likely moved, and other bears inevitably would set off the traps, he said.

If caught, the bear will be euthanized because of its aggressive behavior.

“Having bears aggressively come after a person and a pet is not normal behavior,” McGee said. “Normal bear behavior is that they do have a healthy fear of people and dogs.”

Hikers are advised to keep dogs on leashes and carry bear spray. Hikers also should not hike alone or wear earbuds.

Several trails are temporarily closed, including the Section 16 Trailhead, Palmer Loop Trail and the southern end of Red Rock Canyon Open Space.



Jessica is a 2019 intern at The Gazette. She is a Colorado native who is currently a student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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