A bear, prowling for pre-hibernation snacks, raided the kitchen of a luxury Colorado resort and injured a responding security guard, authorities said Tuesday.
The late-night food run unfolded around 11 p.m. Monday at the St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen when the guard surprised the four-legged intruder in the kitchen, according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) statement.
The bear attacked and knocked the guard down before he got away and called 911, officials said. The guard was taken to the hospital, treated for scratches to his back and was released Tuesday.
Parks officers got to the resort early Tuesday and learned that “the bear had entered the hotel through a series of doors near the courtyard,” according to an agency statement.
“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,” the statement said.
Wildlife officers believe they spotted the animal later Tuesday but said they couldn’t “tranquilize and capture the bear” due to “public safety” concerns.
“This incident serves as an unfortunate reminder that bears are still active as they prepare for hibernation,” CPW said. “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.”
Representatives for CPW and Marriott, owner of the luxury mountain resort, could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.