Woman killed in suspected bear attack in southwest Colorado, authorities say

National News

Courtesy: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

TRIMBLE, Colo. (KLAS) — A woman was found dead in southwest Colorado after a suspected bear attack on Friday, according to authorities.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) say the body of a 39-year-old woman was found last night off U.S. Highway 550 near Trimble, north of Durango.

The victim’s boyfriend told the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office she was believed to have gone walking with her two dogs earlier in the day.

The boyfriend told police he got home around 8:30 p.m. and saw the two dogs outside, but his girlfriend was not there.

He went to search for her, discovered her body around 9:30 p.m., and called 911.

When CPW officers responded, they found “signs of consumption on the body and an abundance of bear scat and hair at the scene,” the news release noted.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services dog team, CPW officers, and La Plata County deputies searched 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.”

There have been three deadly bear attacks in Colorado since 1971, not including Friday’s, according to CPW. The most recent was in 2009.

The agency is warning the public that bears are active statewide and it is important to be aware. To learn more about how to be safe in bear country, visit the CPW website.

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