Colorado woman dies in apparent bear attack

03 Mai, 2021, 11:41 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
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The 39-year-old woman, who has not been named, was found by her boyfriend on a trail near the home they shared in Durango, a town near the New Mexico border, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wrote in a statement.

A woman was found dead off a U.S. highway in Colorado, seemingly the victim of a rare bear attack.

The woman's boyfriend found her body on Friday night near the town of Durango, about 350 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a statement.

The boyfriend told deputies from the La Plata County Sheriff's office that he returned home at 8:30 p.m to no sign of his girlfriend but that their two dogs were outside the house, the CPW said.

He spent an hour searching before he found her body about 9:30 p.m. "Wildlife officers responded and observed signs of consumption on the body and an abundance of bear scat and hair at the scene", a state Parks and Wildlife spokesperson said.

A dog team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services also searched the area and found a female black bear with two young bears nearby.

DNA evidence from the bears and the scene will be sent to Laramie for testing at the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic & Fish Health Laboratory.

"This is a tragic event and a sad reminder that bears are wild and potentially unsafe", Cory Chick, Southwest region manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), said in a news release.

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'This is a tragic event and a sad reminder that bears are wild and potentially risky.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the bears were removed for public safety", Chick said. Now, it's home to an estimated 17 000 to 20 000 black bears in a habitat increasingly encroached upon by humans, creating the potential for more encounters, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a report.

CPW has received a few reports from the Durango area of bears becoming active this spring.

Bears are active statewide and it is important to be Bear Aware. To learn more about how to be safe in bear country, visit the CPW website. A large older bear entered the tent, injured the woman and pulled the 31-year-old man away from the campsite. Further examination of the black bear found that it had worn, abscessed teeth and a plastic bucket in its stomach. A 250-pound, very aggressive male black bear with a fresh bullet wound to the rib cage was trapped and destroyed six days later.

A 74-year-old woman was killed and partially eaten near her home in Ouray County, some 165km away from La Plata County. Deputies shot and killed the bear after it approached them and showed no fear of people.

Autopsy results were inconclusive in determining whether that bear was involved in the woman's death.

Wildlife officers worked through to Saturday morning gathering evidence to corroborate the belief the woman was a victim of a wildlife attack. A necropsy on the large older boar revealed human remains and remnants of clothing in its digestive system.

"That could determine absolutely these were the bears that were responsible", Clay said.

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