Bear that bit Colorado hiker fed from bird feeders

ForestWander / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
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ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Colorado wildlife officials suspect that a bear that bit a hiker last month had lost its fear of people after coming to rely on backyard bird feeders for food.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Wednesday that DNA from the black bear killed following the Memorial Day attack near Aspen confirmed it was the same bear that bit a woman hiking with her husband. It also said the necropsy showed that its stomach mostly contained birdseed.

People who live near bear habitat are warned not to use bird feeders or leave their trash unsecured to avoid attracting bears and getting them accustomed to human sources of food.

Wildlife officer Matt Yamashita said the run-in was "entirely preventable" and said bears would continue to have to be killed until people heeded those warnings.