Woman killed in suspected bear attack near Durango, CPW says

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Suspected deadly bear attack near Durango (photo from CPW)

TRIMBLE, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife said a woman was found dead off U.S. Highway 550 after a suspected bear attack on Friday.

According to her boyfriend, the 39-year-old victim was believed to have gone walking with her two dogs earlier Friday, La Plata County Sheriff’s office said.

Her boyfriend told police he got home around 8:30 p.m. and the dogs were present but his girlfriend was not there.

After searching for her, he found her body around 9:30 p.m. and called 911.

When CPW wildlife officers responded, they found signs of consumption on the body and an abundance of bear scat and hair at the scene.

CPW officers and a U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services dog team assisted with La Plata County deputies to search the area.

The dogs found a female black bear with two cubs nearby. The bears were euthanized and taken to CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins for a necropsy.

“Bear attacks are extremely rare,” said Cory Chick, CPW Southwest Region manager. “This is a tragic event and a sad reminder that bears are wild and potentially dangerous. Out of an abundance of caution, the bears were removed for public safety. We ask the public to report any encounter with an aggressive bear to CPW.”

CPW said the bear is believed to be about 10 years old.

A couple sightings were reported recently, CPW said. On April 19, a resident along the Animas River and La Plata County Road 250 reported that a bear tore down his bird feeder after it was caught on his game camera. CPW received a report of a bear getting into trash east of Durango off Florida Road on March 23.

Authorities ask locals and anyone traveling to avoid the area off U.S. Hwy 550 for investigation.

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