Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Bear pounces on sleeping campers in Colorado RV park

File photo

Okay, here’s a reminder of why most of the readers of this newsletter prefer sleeping in an RV over sleeping in a tent. Thankfully, there’s a happy ending to this bear-human encounter. Here is what happened.

A couple sleeping in a tent in an RV park southwest of Colorado Springs was startled early Monday when a small bear pounced on their tent. Though neither of the people inside was injured in the incident, the incident was classified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) as an attack because the bear contacted a human. A small brown-colored bear has been seen wandering the campground in recent weeks and it is suspected in this incident.

If caught, CPW does not plan to euthanize the bear because it was not aggressive toward the people. Also, it would be impossible to positively identify the bear without hair or tissue samples for comparisons. So wildlife officers intend to haze or release the bear in a more remote region.

The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. as the couple was staying at the Golden Eagle Campground off Colorado Highway 115, about five miles southwest of the city.

The couple was awakened by the sound of the bear rustling around their campsite. They told CPW Officer Aaron Berscheid the bear knocked clean plates and a cooking stove off the table. Then it apparently stood on its back legs and put its paws on the tent, as if investigating it, causing the tent to collapse.


The resulting commotion caused the bear to run off a ways, turn and huff at them. They shouted and ultimately turned on their car’s alarm to scare it away.

“By the descriptions of the bear and by studying its footprints, it appears to be a juvenile bear,” Berscheid said. “Its behavior sounds more as if it was just curious rather than aggressive. There were no food attractants at the campsite.”

Berscheid said the woman in the tent reported being scratched on her head, but no sign of the scratch was visible later Monday when they contacted CPW to report the incident. There was a rip on the rainfly protecting the tent but the tent was not damaged.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Bob P (@guest_106475)
2 years ago

Y’all are braver than me or you just don’t understand the possible dangers of camping in bear country or any place there are wild animals that search for food at night. I’ll admit back in my late twenties I was foolish and took my young family camping in the mountains above 10,000 feet in a fold down tent camper and the thought never entered my mind about wild animals, I was on a fishing expedition. Thinking about that trip we were probably higher than most animals would be hunting in but it was still unwise from my point of view today.

Dietrich R (@guest_85784)
3 years ago

Campers in sleeping bags are the soft tacos of the bear world.

Pat (@guest_77165)
3 years ago

The issue with the bear is human caused…they left their cooking stuff out…learn how to camp without getting the animals in trouble

Carson Axtell (@guest_77155)
3 years ago

Sounds to me like the campers made a bit of a Boo-Boo… I’ve never heard of a bear being curious about anything but what’s in a pik-a-nik basket, ie food.

Gene Bjerke (@guest_77152)
3 years ago

Many years ago I gave my boss and his preteen son a ride back from a convention. We stopped for the night at a national park campground (Yellowstone perhaps). All food was stored in the car. They spread sleeping bags on the bare ground, while I slung a jungle hammock between two trees. It turns out that their sleeping bags were on a direct line between two “bear-proof” trash cans. When they awoke in the morning, there were bear footprints between the sleeping bags.

Cindy (@guest_77130)
3 years ago

When my parents took us camping to Colorado as children we heard a bear walking around outside our tent. It as scarey! You could tell he wasn’t huge, but still big and kept huffing and snoofing. He brushed the side of the tent a few times. My 13 year old sister got so scared she vomited, I think. We all just laid still and quiet and he eventually left. Just nosey, I guess. But scary all the same. BTW, I don’t believe there was any food around as we had been warned and with 8 of us in the tent there was no room for food.

Jane (@guest_77082)
3 years ago

We have tent camped for over 20 yeas mostly in Colorado. It. Is usually well publishec at campgrounds how to bear proof your site which includes stowing away all food and cooking utensils. Even detergents, deoderants and toothpaste which attract bears and other wildlife. We never bring food, or toothpaste or deoderants into our tent. Never.
By not cleaning up sites and stowing items you are encouraging the bears, endangering yourselves and other campers!

Donald N Wright (@guest_77012)
3 years ago

Even in RV parks, you must practice the “Bearmuda Triangle” as taught at Philmont Scout Ranch. No food or smellables in tents, Cooking and food storage area away from tent, (bear bags?) camping equipment away from tents. Bear’s claws can cut through automobile sheet metal !

Fox (@guest_77010)
3 years ago

“There were no food attractants at the campsite.”
BS the article says there was clean plates and the stove you don’t think the stove had the smell of food on it? Plates if washed and the smell of the washing detergent on them which is an attractant. I have worked as a campground host for Parks Canada for 10 years and I know that these are some of the major problems people don’t think they’re clean dishes and stove tops or barbecues still contain the smell of meat or other food but yes they do

Tim Woody (@guest_77017)
3 years ago
Reply to  Fox

Thanks for the info about dishwashing detergent. I figured there was a strong possibility of food smell on the stove. Your comment is a service to all campers in bear country.

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