Home video of a rare occurrence of nature in Colorado Springs has gone viral worldwide. A young bear attacked an injured deer in the yard of a home on Jupiter Drive, across from Jenkins Park in the westside Skyway neighborhood. The attack happened on June 7. Neighbor J.D. Gieck captured the attack on video.
“To me, it was just like, ‘Alright, let’s get a picture of this one, see what it’s up to and watch it knock over a trash can or two,'” Gieck told News5. “In no way, shape, or form did I expect this to happen. It’s probably one of the most crazy things I’ve ever seen.”
Gieck says the bear was acting normally, sauntering through yards and climbing the base of a tree. But then it made an unexpected, aggressive dive into a bush alongside a home. “I looked back over my shoulder to see him pulling the deer out and he brought him out into the yard,” Gieck said.
Gieck recorded on his cell phone as the young black bear with cinnamon-colored fur clumsily bit at the neck and abdomen of the deer, which Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers say was injured prior to the attack. “I believe it was a broken back leg,” said Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Abbie Walls. The injured and struggling deer bellowed a disturbing scream during the attack.
Gieck posted video of the attack to his Facebook page and it quickly went viral. As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, the video had been viewed nearly 7 million times. A distribution service is now helping Gieck to manage the video’s popularity and is charging media outlets for usage of the video. News5 has opted not to broadcast the video or post a link to it online.
Neighbors were startled by the attack. Most were aware that black bears, which are common on the Colorado Front Range, are typically scavengers. They are famous for rummaging through garbage, looking for discarded scraps of food. “90 percent of a bear’s diet is plants and grass,” Walls said, “but occasionally, they will eat meat.” Walls says wildlife officers believe the young bear didn’t quite appear to know what it was doing as the attack lacked the precision of an experienced predator. “This bear was actually doing what bears are supposed to do,” Walls said. “It was taking out sick and injured wildlife, which is how mother nature works.”
Some neighbors worried the bear might present a danger to pets and children in the neighborhood, but since the attack was a naturally-occurring wildlife-on-wildlife incident rather than on a human or domestic animal, a Colorado Springs police officer put down the injured deer and the bruin was allowed to run off. “Not to say that a bear wouldn’t or couldn’t go after a pet, but it’s very unlikely because they’re going to be harder to get after,” Walls said.
You can watch the original video below: