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Bear attacks security guard in Aspen hotel, remains on the loose, Colorado wildlife officials say

A bear is being sought in Aspen, Colorado, after wildlife officials say the animal broke into a hotel kitchen and attacked a security guard on Monday night.

The attack happened around 11 p.m. at the St. Regis Aspen Resort when the security guard went to investigate reports of a bear inside the hotel, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said in a news release on Tuesday.

The guard entered the kitchen and turned a corner, surprising the bear, the agency said. The bear then swiped the guard and knocked him to the ground. 

The man was able to escape the bear and call 911 for help. First responders brought the guard to a hospital, where he was treated for scratches on his back.

Wildlife officers arrived at the scene just after midnight and began to search for the bear, CPW said.

An investigation determined that the bear had entered the hotel through a series of doors near the courtyard, according to the agency. Officers were given a description of the bear, including specific identification markers, and continued to search the area.

Early Tuesday morning, wildlife officers found the bear near the hotel, though they were unable to safely tranquilize and capture it due to public safety concerns, the agency said.

Wildlife officers were expected to return to the area later to continue the search.

Bears are still active in the area as they prepare for their winter hibernation, the CPW warned.

“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,” the agency said.