Colorado man wakes to find black bear nibbling ankle: local paper

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Colorado Man Finds Bear Nipping His Ankle After A Nap


A resident of a Colorado mountain town woke from a nap on his deck to find a black bear nibbling his ankle, but later rejected a request by wildlife officials to put a trap on his property, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Peter Rizzuto, 77, told The Aspen Times he thought at first the creature was a large dog. He said last week's encounter was very brief, and the skin on his ankle was not broken.

Rizzuto contacted the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department the following day, but then declined to place a bear trap in his backyard in the ski resort of Snowmass, near Aspen.

"I'm worried it might trap the wrong bear," Rizzuto said.

A parks and wildlife spokesman, Mike Porras, told the newspaper that the bear had not returned since last Wednesday's incident, but it was likely that it would.

"If it is walking up to humans and doing this, it would not be a big surprise if it did it again," Porras said.

Colorado is home to about 12,000 black bears. Attacks on people are rare, but typically happen when hungry bears lose their fear of humans, wildlife authorities say.

Porras said Rizzuto's small yard is open, and that children come and go in the area. He said the department might lay a trap on a nearby public area if one is available.

"No one wants to put a bear down," Porras said. "But when a bear is not afraid of humans or is approaching humans, that is a cause for concern."

See more black bears recently in the news:

11 PHOTOS
Black bears
See Gallery
Colorado man wakes to find black bear nibbling ankle: local paper
In this May 17, 2015 photo, a Louisiana Black Bear, sub-species of the black bear that is protected under the Endangered Species Act, is seen in a water oak tree in Marksville, La. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official Steve Guertin says his agency is making a formal proposal to remove the Louisiana black bear from the list of threatened species. That could make the subspecies Louisiana’s third signature animal to get off the endangered or threatened list, after alligators and brown pelicans. It could also allow bear hunts in Louisiana, but not any time soon. The process could take a year if nobody fights it. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In this May 17, 2015 photo, a Louisiana Black Bear, sub-species of the black bear that is protected under the Endangered Species Act, rests in a water oak tree in a neighborhood in Marksville, La. The bear left Monday after getting caught in a trap set by state biologists, then managing to open the door and get back out. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
FILE- In this July 25, 2014 file photo, a black bear is seen at the Maine Willdlife Park in New Gloucester, Maine. On Nov. 4 Maine voters decide on a proposal to ban the use of bait, dogs, and traps to hunt black bears. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday Aug. 1, 2007 file photo, a black bear is seen in Lyme, N.H. New Hampshire's state bear expert says good-hearted but irresponsible residents are “loving the animals to death." Fish and Game officials discovered four sites in Stoddard, North Conway and Bethlehem where residents have resumed feeding black bears despite previous warnings to stop. At one of the four feeding sites discovered in May, two bears had to be killed because they were breaking into cars and garages and killing livestock. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)
A black bear watches a gathering crowd of people from a safe perch in a tree high above the Campbell Creek trailhead on Sunday, April 21, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. Cars stopped along the roadway and people were snapping pictures of the bear. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
FILE-In this April 22, 2012 file photo, a black bear grazes in a field in Calais, Vt. Vermont wildlife officials are asking bear hunters to perform a little dentistry on their prey. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department wants bear hunters to contribute a tooth from their kill to a study on the state's bear population. The tooth will be used to determine the age of the bear and will assist officials in pegging the status and health of the bear population.(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)
A adult black bear runs through Tualatin Elementary School yard Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Tualatin, Ore. Police in Tualatin just south of Portland tracked the bear roaming in a wooded area near the elementary school. The bear was later caught near the school. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Viviane, an Asian black bear is back at home in the African reserve of Sigean on July 9, 2013 after 15 days of freedom when she escaped from her enclosure. The bear was not considered dangerous and was found at several kilometres north of the reserve. AFP PHOTO / RAYMOND ROIG (Photo credit should read RAYMOND ROIG/AFP/Getty Images)
A black bear scavenges for food beside tourists near the famous General Sherman tree at the Sequoia National Park in Central California on October 10, 2009. The Redwood trees which are native to California's Sierra Nevada Mountains are the world's largest by volume reaching heights of 274.9 feet (84.2 metres) and a ground level girth of 109 feet (33 metres). The oldest known Giant Sequoia based on it's ring count is 3,500 years old. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
CHENGDU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 9: (CHINA OUT) A black bear sits in water at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre September 9, 2006 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. Established in 2002, the center has saved about 185 bears from bear farms, where farmers milked their bile for profit and now it houses 168 bears. Financed by the AAF, Moon Bear Rescue Centre has cooperated with local governments to work towards the future of eliminating bear farming in China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Lisa Lambert)

Read Full Story

People are Reading