Sowing, yearlings euthanized after Durango girl discovered lifeless in obvious bear assault – CBS Denver
DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) – A 39-year-old Durango woman died after apparently being attacked by a black bear. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers say the attack took place Friday night.
The woman’s boyfriend found her body after she disappeared at her home about an hour after arriving. Authorities say the victim apparently went for a walk with her two dogs on Friday, her friend told the sheriff’s office in La Plata county.
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“It is a very sad and tragic event,” said Jason Clay, senior information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “It’s bear habitat and bears are known to be there and are expected there.”
The friend last heard from the victim in the late morning. The two dogs seemed fine.
“The officials observed signs of consumption on the body and an abundance of bear droppings and hair at the scene,” said CPW on Saturday morning.
A USDA canine team found a sow and two yearlings nearby. According to the CPW, all bears have been euthanized and will be taken to a laboratory in Fort Collins for autopsy. Your DNA evidence will then be sent to a laboratory in the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic & Fish Health facility.
Investigators say, based on the sow’s teeth, that the sow is over 10 years old.
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The woman will be identified by the La Plata county coroner office next week. There was no evidence she fed the bears, but CPW says there have been reports of bears in the Durango area because this time of year bears come out of hibernation and forage, whether you provide it or not.
On April 19, a resident of the Animas River and 250 La Plata County Road captured a lone bear on his game camera and reported that the bear had demolished its bird feeder. On March 23, CPW received a report of a bear that was trashed east of Durango on Florida Road.
“Bear activity is expected to increase and people need to be aware of it,” Clay said.
CPW says to protect yourself you should lock trash cans, avoid feeding wildlife, especially bears, and use a pipe and bear spray when going out into the wild. If you see a bear, don’t run. Talk to him, make yourself look big, and make some noise. Use the bear spray if necessary.
“Bear attacks are extremely rare,” said Cory Chick, manager of the CPW Southwest Region. “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. “
There have been three other fatal bear attacks in Colorado, according to the CPW. a 31-year-old man at a campsite near Grand Lake in 1971; a 24-year-old man in a motor home north of Cotopaxi in 1993; and a 74-year-old woman at her home near Ouray in 2009.
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Investigators stay at the scene near US 550 near Trimble. The authorities urge the public to avoid the area.