PINE, Colo. — A couple fought off a mother bear and her cub with punches and a baseball bat after the animals broke into their Colorado home on Monday night, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.
The bear was found Tuesday morning and euthanized, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.
The sheriff’s office said the mother bear and her cub entered the home on Zurich Drive in Pine, about 10 miles southwest of Conifer, about 8:30 p.m. and began eating a loaf of bread.
As Jon Johnson and his wife, George Ann Field, were watching TV, they heard noises and went upstairs to investigate.
As Johnson turned a corner into the kitchen, he was face to face with the mother bear, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.
The mother bear then attacked the 71-year-old Johnson in what Colorado Parks and Wildlife said was described as a boxing match.
Johnson punched the bear while Field struck it with a baseball bat several times until both bears ran out through the screen door they used to enter the home.
“George Ann got behind and hit her with the bat, which is why the head print is in the wall,” Johnson said.
Johnson suffered numerous cuts and scratches to his face, chest and both arms but was not seriously injured, the sheriff’s office said. He was treated at the home. Field was not injured.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers searched for the bears until about midnight Monday. They returned with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services dog team on Tuesday morning.
It was the same dog team that was used to track down a mountain lion that attacked an 8-year-old Bailey boy last week.
About 5:50 a.m., the dog team found the bear in the immediate area and she was tracked for the next hour. The bear was euthanized just before 7 a.m., about 900 yards from the home. The cub has not been found, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.
DNA samples will be sent to the University of Wyoming Forensics Lab to confirm it’s the bear from the attack.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife policy says that when a bear attacks a human and there is injury, the animal must be euthanized.
Officials said bears are becoming very active in the foothills and mountains as they eat as much as possible before going into winter hibernation.