Bears, Birds, & Bees 

31 Oct, 2023 Liz Carey


Aspen, CO ( – It was bear versus security guard last week in Aspen – one of many incidents of animals attacking workers across the country in the past few months.  

Officials in Aspen said a security guard at St. Regis Aspen Resort suffered scratches when a bear walking through the resort’s kitchen took a swipe at him.  

In Oct. 23, police were called to the St. Regis around 11 p.m. after a security guard went to investigate a report of a bear inside the hotel. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the security guard had gone into the kitchen to investigate.  

Video of the event shows the bear walking through the kitchen on four legs. After he turns a corner around refrigerators, the security guard comes into view in the video. The guard follows approximately the same path as the bear and comes to the same corner of the refrigerators. As the guard turns the corner, the video shows him backing up and the bear coming into view.  

“The security guard surprised the bear as he was going around a corner into another area of the kitchen,” CPW said. “The bear attacked the guard, swiping at him and knocking him down to the ground. He was able to get away from the bear and call 911. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he received care for scratches to his back and was later released from the hospital early Tuesday morning.” 

The guard was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for scratches on his back.  

CPW said the bear had entered the hotel through a series of doors near the courtyard. Officers from CPW were able to find the bear but were unable to safely tranquilize him. Later, the agency found the bear and was able to safely transport him out of the area.  

"While it is common for people to see bears and other wildlife inside Aspen town limits, it is everyone's responsibility to give wildlife space and remember the importance of being ‘bear aware’ at all times," the agency said. 

No word on whether that includes when the bear comes in for room service.  

On Oct. 21, two bee attacks in San Perlita and Raymondville, Cal., left one man dead and two injured.  

Around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, San Perlita Mayor George Guadiana and two city employees were removing a tree when they angered a swarm of bees. The bees attacked the men, leaving on, a 70-year-old man, stung several times. Guadiana said he drove the man to Raymondville, where they met an ambulance that took him to a hospital.  

The man, Seferina Esparza, had been a city employee since 2018. Guadiana said he did not survive the attack.  

Later in Raymondville, there was a separate bee attack Saturday evening, police said. In that attack, two people were taken to a nearby hospital and three others were treated on the scene.  

And in Austin, earlier this year, hawks have sent mail carriers and residents running for cover.  

The hawks took up residence in a South Austin neighborhood, reports indicate and have swooped down on mail carriers delivering to the neighborhood. In videos of the attacks, the hawks angered by the residents, come flying down from their homes high above the street in trees to peck, scratch and frighten those on the ground.  

Out of safety concerns, the hawks’ presence briefly stopped mail delivery. Multiple people in the neighborhood have reported being scratched by the birds’ talons on their necks, head and backs while they are running down the street, mowing their lawns, working or walking to their cars.  

Wildlife experts say the behavior is probably the result of the birds’ efforts to protect their nests and their young. Jessica Alderson, urban wildlife technical guidance program leader with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said the birds usually choose to nest in place where they feel comfortable raising their babies without potential threats.  

When that isn’t possible, she said, they sometimes build nests near residential areas, and then react to the humans as if they are a threat.  

The U.S. Postal Service said they had temporarily stopped mail delivery service on two streets in the Travis Heights neighborhood because of the attacks. Home owners were told they would have to pick up their mail at the South Congress Post Office.  

A resident of the neighborhood, Eric Klein, told the Austin American Statesman, his mail carrier told him about the stoppage. The carrier continued to deliver mail as long as he could, Klein said, but paused the route when the hawk started attacking him head-on.  

The post office said at the time that mail carriers had resumed delivery on a day-to-day basis “where and when it is safe to do so.”  

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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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