- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - People at a Colorado campsite fought off a bear that was later killed by authorities after it bit one man in the head and attacked another person, official said.

One camper stabbed the animal with a knife after it tried to enter his tent at the site near Durango, The Durango Herald (http://bit.ly/1cvvs3b) reported Tuesday.

Authorities were trying to determine if the bear, which attacked Sunday and Monday, could be the same animal that charged two other people on May 26.

The campers were bitten in an area that was strewn with trash and food, which authorities say likely drew the bear, The Durango Herald (http://bit.ly/1cvvs3b) reported Tuesday.

The bear was shot and killed Monday by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. It was sent to Grand Junction for a necropsy and a DNA analysis to determine if it was the same animal in the earlier attack.

Campers say the bear was biting Joshua Barber, 21, in the head Sunday when they arrived to help him. He was hospitalized and in good condition at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, according to hospital spokesman David Bruzzese.

Matt O’Brien told the newspaper the bear stepped back about 15 minutes as he ran downhill from another camp shouting. He said he stepped between Barber and the bear, waving a big stick and shining a flashlight at it, and eventually helped carry Barber away with another camper.

Robin Derendy, 33, told officers the bear attacked him through his tent early Monday, but he was able to fight back with his knife. He believes he stabbed the bear on the left side of its head or neck before it ran off.

The bear may have gotten too comfortable and become more brazen after finding easy access to food at the camp area near the Durango Tech Center, said Joe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The area, a couple of miles west of downtown, is known to be a spot for homeless campers.

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Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com

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