A western Colorado man survived an attack by a bear in his backyard, but the bear is nowhere to be found.

The Night of the Attack

The bear attack happened Saturday night in New Castle. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the man heard a noise in his backyard, went to investigate, and discovered the presence of a bear. The startled bear immediately knocked the man to the ground and pinned him down. The man reportedly used one arm to protect his face and grabbed his gun with his free hand, firing three shots and scaring the bear away.

CPW says the victim was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries to his hand, arm, and chest.

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Wildlife Officials Search For the Bear

Wildlife officials arrived on the scene about three hours later but were unable to locate the bear. The man was unsure if any of the three shots he fired struck the animal. Heavy rain made it difficult to locate a possible blood trail and track the bear, though the search involved a drone with infrared sensors.

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Search For Attacking Bear Called Off

Wednesday afternoon, Colorado Parks and Wildlife called off the search for the bear. They don't know if the bear is dead or alive. They are asking anyone who sees a dead or injured bear in the New Castle area to contact the Grand Junction Area Office at 970-255-6100.

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Warning: Bears Are Active Right Now

The weekend incident is the second bear attack this year in New Castle and is an unfortunate reminder that bears can be a dangerous problem. Area wildlife manager Kirk Oldham says they are seeing a lot of overnight bear activity during overnight hours as bears prepare for hibernation.

"Easy access to food sources such as trash and fruit from trees that has fallen to the ground will attract bears. Simple steps like picking up fruit and removing attractants around your home are important in preventing incidents like this."

Oldham says it's important that bears don't be comfortable around your house. He says if you see one you should yell at it, throw things at it, and make noise to scare it off.

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