DURANGO, Colorado – A 39-year-old woman walking her dogs was found dead Friday night after an apparent bear attack. This comes from a publication by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The woman’s body was found on US Highway 550 near Trimble, north of Durango.
According to the sheriff’s office in La Plata County, the woman’s friend said the victim went for a walk with her two dogs on Friday.
When the friend returned home later that evening, he found the two dogs, but the woman was missing.
The friend found the woman’s body around 9:30 p.m. and called 911 to report the incident.
Wildlife officers responded and observed signs of ingestion and an abundance of bear droppings and hair at the scene.
A dog team quickly found a black sow (female) bear with two yearlings nearby. The bears have been euthanized and will be taken to CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins for autopsy, according to the CPW publication.
Examination of the sow’s teeth led rangers to believe she was over 10 years old.
DNA evidence from the bears and the scene is being sent to Laramie for testing at the Wyoming Game and the Fish Wildlife Forensic & Fish Health Laboratory.
“Bear attacks are extremely rare,” said Cory Chick, manager of the CPW Southwest Region, in the news release. “This is a tragic event and a sad reminder that bears are wild and potentially dangerous. As a precaution, the bears have been removed for public safety reasons. We ask the public to report any aggressive bear encounters to CPW. “
The CPW announced that it has received some reports from the Durango bear area, which will become active this spring.
Bears are active nationwide and it is important to be bear conscious. To learn more about how to stay safe in Bear Sanctuary, visit the CPW website.
Deadly bear attacks in Colorado
July 25, 1971: A honeymoon couple was attacked while camping near Grand Lake in Grand County. A large older bear entered the tent, injured the woman and pulled the 31-year-old man away from the campsite. The man was killed. The bear was later found and destroyed. Another examination of the black bear revealed that it had worn teeth and a plastic bucket in its stomach.
Aug 10, 1993: A 24-year-old Buena Vista man was attacked and killed after a male bear broke into a mobile home 20 miles north of Cotopaxi, Fremont County, believed to be looking for food. The camper tried to stop the attack by shooting the bear, but it only injured the animal. The bear was injured by a bullet that grazed its rib cage, possibly increasing the intensity of the attack. A 250-pound, very aggressive male black bear with a fresh gunshot wound to the chest was captured and destroyed six days later. An autopsy of the bear revealed human remains in its digestive system.
August 7, 2009: A 74-year-old woman was killed and partially eaten by one or more bears at her home near Ouray, Ouray County. When the sheriff’s MPs were investigating the scene, they were approached by a 250-pound, 5-year-old male black bear who displayed aggressive behavior. MPs shot the bear after he approached them and showed no fear of people. The autopsy results on this bear were inconclusive as to whether it was involved in the original incident. Early the next morning, federal wildlife officials killed a 394-pound mature male black bear that approached the house and displayed aggressive behavior. An autopsy of the large elderly boar revealed human remains and remains of clothing in its digestive system. A CPW investigation found the victim illegally fed bears through a fence in their yard.
Information from Colorado Parks and Wildlife