Durango area mother recounts family’s scary encounter with bear

DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) – A Colorado woman turned into a mama bear when a real bear got really close to her two young sons. It’s the latest in a series of bear encounters in the Durango area.

“When you hear a scream like that, your mom instincts, you just immediately know there is something very wrong,” Cristy Holley said.

Holley and her daughter Brittani were at home near Vallecito Lake on Tuesday when her 4-year-old son Cooper and 6-year-old son Cody’s play voices changed.

“It immediately turned into a blood curdling screaming,” Holley said. “I came around the corner and they were face-to-face within three feet of a black bear…I started running towards the bear, screaming, waving my arms as big as I could, to make myself look big as I could.”

Vallecito is definitely Bear Country. Holley says she’s had bear encounters before, but this bear was different.

“He wasn’t backing away. He looked at me like I messed up his next meal,” she said.

“If I would have gotten there five seconds later he would have had one of them,” Holley said.

“All I saw was the bear and terrified looks on my brother’s faces,” Holley’s daughter, Brittani, said.

They say the bear lunged, the women grabbed the boys from the yard, and ran inside.

Fish and Wildlife tracked and euthanized the bear.

“The wildlife officer told me that same bear two days before had confronted a lady down the road below these houses jogging, and she had to use pepper spray to scare it off because it kept advancing on her,” Holley said.

Holley says this encounter has changed her family’s perspective.

“I’ve never been afraid of a bear before, but this bear was acting completely different and I am now afraid of bears,” she said. “It was terrifying, it was very terrifying.”

This is at least the sixth bear killed in that area in the last week. Wildlife officials say the bear population in New Mexico and Colorado has surged so high this year, competition for food in the mountains is bringing bears closer to civilization.



KRQE.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s