A man camping near the Purgatoire River in Trinidad in southeast Colorado was bit by a bear Saturday night but is expected to survive.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the camper was resting in a hammock when he apparently startled a bear that was next to him. 

The bear left a two-to-three-inch wound in the man’s arm before wandering off, according to CPW.

A photo shows the bite marks left by a bear on a man camping in Trinidad, Colo. on August 6, 2023.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

“Bear attacks are rare and we take them very seriously,” said Mike Brown, CPW’s area wildlife manager for the region. “We are doing everything we can to locate this bear. And we continue to investigate the incident. Luckily, the victim’s injury appears to be relatively minor.”

If captured, the bear will be euthanized, per agency policy, according to CPW.

The camper, who CPW officials did not publicly identify, said he heard rustling noises around 10 p.m. He turned on his headlamp and then the bear bit him. The man went to a local motel and called an ambulance. 

Now, CPW and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are searching the area with teams of trappers, inspectors and dogs. A trap was set up near the campground where the bear bit the man, in case it returns.