Black bear mauls two campers

DENVER -- A black bear mauled two campers at Rocky Mountain National Park over the weekend, leaving them with torn scalps and forcing rangers to shut down a number of backcountry camping sites.

Patrick Finan, 22, of Boulder and Tim Schuett, 23, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., were attacked as they slept in separate tents early Sunday, park officials said.

Finan was bitten in the forehead and scalp before the bear let go.

"My reaction was basically, to first to scream to warn everyone else in the campsite and try to scare the bear off," Finan told The Associated Press. "Then to stop the blood from flowing. It was flowing pretty fast."

Schuett, who was awakened by the screams of his colleague, was scratched on the head through the fabric of the tent. The bear walked off when the campers yelled.

Finan said he suffered three puncture wounds that required stitches. He is also on a regimen of antibiotics to ensure there is no infection.

The attack happened at a Fern Lake backcountry campsite, and park rangers shut down other sites in the Odessa Gorge area of the park to search for the bear.

"This is a serious incident," chief ranger Joe Evans said. "All proper food storage was used in this campsite and the bear still acted aggressively."

The last fatality in the park from a black bear attack was in 1971.

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