Human remains were found in the stomachs of two bears that were near the scene of a suspected animal attack, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced Saturday.
A 39-year-old woman was found dead near Trimble, Colorado and officials believe she was attacked by a bear. An autopsy will be used to confirm the cause of death, according to a press release from CPW.
CPW finds human remains in stomachs of bears caught near woman’s body in Durango.
— CPW SW Region (@CPW_SW) May 3, 2021
The woman’s boyfriend told the police that he left the house after his girlfriend went out to walk the dogs. When he returned home, he found the two dogs outside of the house, but could not find the woman. He discovered her dead body about an hour later and called the police, CPW reported.
Officers found signs of a bear attack at the scene, and a team of dogs found a black bear with two yearlings close by. The three bears were euthanized, according to CPW. (RELATED: Wilderness Guide Dies Following Mauling By Grizzly Bear)
“Once a bear injures or consumes humans, we will not risk the chance that this could happen to someone else,” said CPW Southwest Region manager Cory Chick, according to CPW.
“We humanely euthanize that bear because of the severity of the incident … Bears will return to a food source over and over. A bear that loses its fear of humans is a dangerous animal. And this sow was teaching its yearlings that humans were a source of food, not something to fear and avoid.”
A CPW pathologist found human remains in the stomach of the larger bear and one of its yearlings during dissection of the animals, according to CPW.