A 39-year-old woman was found dead Friday night after an apparent bear attack in Durango, Colorado, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The woman’s boyfriend told police he arrived home around 8:30 pm and found the couple’s two dogs outside and his girlfriend missing. He searched a trail on private land where she frequently walked the dogs and notified authorities after discovering her body.
CPW called in a dog team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to search the area. The tracking dogs quickly found a sow (female) black bear with two yearlings nearby. The bears were euthanized and are being taken to CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins for a necropsy, CPW reports.
An autopsy on the woman will be performed by the La Plata County coroner early next week. The coroner’s office will identify the remains and determine the official cause of death.
“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.”
According to CPW, Friday’s incident was just the fourth fatal bear attack in the state since 1960. The attack comes just two weeks after video footage captured a mountain biker narrowly escaping a bear attack in Montana.