Colorado Parks and Wildlife working to confirm if bears responsible for attack were killed

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Tests are underway Saturday night to determine if three bears killed near Durango are responsible for the death of a 39-year-old woman.

The woman was found Friday night near her home, after going on a walk with her two dogs.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers say portions of her body had been consumed, and there was bear hair and scat at the scene.

“Without another witness, it’s kind of hard to speculate how this attack or encounter took place,” said CPW Public Information Officer Jason Clay.

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

“They’ll open up the bears and look at the stomach contents,” said Clay. “They’ll be going through the body and seeing if there’s other evidence, as far as human remains.”

Clay said officers are also preparing to send samples of hair and scat, along with the claws and teeth from the bears to a forensics lab in Wyoming.

FOX31 was given a rare look inside the lab, which handles most Colorado predator attack cases, in 2019.

“We want to know if the bears euthanized at the scene are the ones responsible,” said Clay. “That’s when we’ll get our first glimpse as to findings from that.”

CPW is hoping to know by Sunday whether they killed the responsible bears.

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