A security guard escaped with only a few scratches after a bear attacked him at a luxury hotel.
The animal had wandered into the kitchen of the five-star St Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen, Coloradowhen the employee went to investigate.
As he slowly moved towards the back of the kitchen, the bear pounced on him and ravaged the guard with its paws.
The man was sent flying to the ground, before the bear ran in the opposite direction.
The guard was taken to the hospital but suffered only scratches to his back and was quickly released, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said.
A CPW spokesperson said, “Officers noticed that while searching for this bear, eight other bears were seen moving around downtown Aspen.”
Wildlife officials said the bear entered the hotel through several doors near the courtyard.
CCTV footage showed the bear wandering into the kitchen on Monday evening, moments before the guard entered the room.
After the attack, the guard managed to call 911.
A large-scale hunt involved wildlife officers as well as the Aspen Police Department and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
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But it was not until early Wednesday morning that the animal was found, tranquilized and then euthanized.
It was identified as the same animal that attacked the security guard due to a distinctive white spot on its chest, according to CPW.
CPW Regional Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita said, “During our initial investigation, we collected witness statements as well as photos and videos from the hotel’s security cameras.
“All played an important role in our investigation. Using footage provided by the hotel, we were able to confirm the bear’s aggressive behavior and identify its unique physical characteristics which helped to correctly identify the offending bear.”
Wildlife officers said the hotel kitchen was clean and there was no food that could have attracted the animal.
Experts estimate that Colorado has between 17,000 and 20,000 bears and that the population is “stable and growing.”