The woman, a Durango resident, reportedly went for a walk with her two dogs earlier Friday, according to information her friend had provided to the La Plata County sheriff’s office, the release said.
The boyfriend had last heard from the woman that morning and when he got home around 8:30 p.m., he “discovered the two dogs outside their home, but the woman was missing,” CPW said.
He began looking for her and discovered her body at around 9:30 pm along US Highway 550, north of Durango, and called 911, the release said. “CPW conservationists responded and observed signs of consumption on the body and an abundance of bear droppings and hair on the spot.”
A dog team quickly found a sow (female) black bear with two yearlings nearby. The bears were euthanized and taken to CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins for necropsy, “CPW said.
“Bear attacks are extremely rare,” said CPW Southwest Region manager Cory Chick. “This is a tragic event and a sad reminder that bears are wild and potentially dangerous.”
In the past few decades, there have been just three fatal bear attacks in Colorado – in 1971, 1993 and 2009, according to CPW.
The La Plata County coroner will perform an autopsy on the woman early next week, the release said.