New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUNE 28, 2010:
DEPARTMENT KILLS BEAR AT SCENE OF SUNDAY’S ATTACK
TIJERAS -- A 250-pound male black bear was caught and killed early Monday at the Sandia Mountains picnic ground where a young woman was attacked early Sunday morning, the Department of Game and Fish announced today.
“We are more than 95 percent sure we got the right bear,” said Donald Jaramillo, the Game and Fish Department sergeant for the Albuquerque Supervisory District. The bear’s feces contained hair that appeared to match a dog that was killed and eaten during Sunday’s attack. The bear was taken to Veterinary Diagnostic Services at the University of New Mexico for a necropsy.
The 20-year-old victim had surgery Sunday at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Her father told Sergeant Jaramillo that she would recovery completely. The victim was dragged from her tent Sunday morning, but fought the bear and got away. She stood up to appear larger, and then ran to her vehicle.
The bear, believed to be about 5 years old, was chased with hounds Sunday, but escaped early Sunday afternoon. It returned to the scene Sunday night or early Monday morning, and was caught in a live trap. The bear had a long scar across its face and did not appear to have been caught by Game and Fish previously.
The woman was attacked while camping with two male companions in the Sandia Mountains Sunday night. They had numerous items that would attract bears to their tent. Those included: the dog, Gummi Bears and Doritos.
“The Department wants to encourage everyone using our national forests to remember that bears have a tremendous sense of smell,” said Tod Stevenson, Director of the Department. “No one should keep food or trash anywhere near where they sleep. Even toothpaste, deodorant and some insect repellents can attract bears.”
Department employees attribute the number of aggressive bears the agency is handling this year to good cub survival over the previous two years, followed by extremely dry conditions that occurred this spring.
For more tips about living with bears and other predators, visit the Department of Game and Fish Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.