The shocking news of a woman being partially eaten by a bear has shocked residents in Colorado...
But this story just continues to get more and more tragic...
Read on to find out exactly what happened.
So, why is it so dangerous to encounter one of these creatures?
Out of the numerous species of bears, the majority have proven to be extremely dangerous towards us humans and they are most certainly not an animal to be reckoned with.
Species such as grizzly bears and brown bears are known for being very territorial...And they will react quickly if they feel surprised or threatened.
Bears have a better sense of smell than dogs and they love humans' food.
via: GettyAccording to National Geographic, people who spend a lot of time in the outdoors are at a much higher risk of unwillingly attracting a bear. "If you're a hiker, be more careful about various kinds of scents and things that you would have on you - such as food, deodorant, and even chewing gum."
These creatures are also unbelievably strong.
via: GettyOn average, a grizzly bear can weigh up to 700 lbs and they can reach speeds of up to 40 mph - making it physically impossible for us humans to outrun a bear.
Experts have offered advice in the past on how to behave if we are to ever come face-to-face with a bear...
But because of a bear's unpredictable nature, an encounter is almost always likely to end in disaster.
Well, this became the reality for one poor woman who was out walking her dogs.
The thirty-nine-year-old was found dead near Highway 550 near Trimble, north of Durango in Colorado, confirmed Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Her partner called for help after she had not returned home, but both their dogs had.
He told the authorities that she went out to walk the dogs early on Friday morning, and it was unusual for her to still be out at 8:30PM. Unable to reach her via her phone, he went out to look for her.
And that's when he stumbled across her mangled body at the side of the road.
Officers who were called to the scene said they saw "signs of consumption on the body", as well as multiple bear droppings and hair around the area.
Immediately, they started searching for the predator.
Armed and equipped with a pack of dogs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, they started the hunt, eventually coming across a female, adult bear and 2 cubs.
Sadly, all 3 of the animals were euthanized.
There was nothing wrong with them; they were in good condition and showed no signs of carrying any harmful diseases. The older, female weighed 204lbs, and the cubs weighed 58 and 66lbs, meaning they were not starved or running out of food sources.
That's why, when the bodies were then sent to CPW's Wildlife Health Lab for a necropsy, the results were shocking.
A pathologist found human remains in the stomach of the mother bear, as well as one of the cubs, meaning they were most likely the culprits of the woman's death.
Cory Chick, CPW Southwest Region manager said this:
"Bear attacks are extremely rare. 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."
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the boyfriend, family, and friends of the woman we lost in this tragic event. We cannot determine with exact certainty how or why this attack took place, but it is important for the public not to cast blame on this woman for the unfortunate and tragic event."
"There are inherent risks anyone takes when venturing outdoors," he added.
"...That could be from wildlife, the landscape, weather events or other circumstances one cannot plan for."
Dan Prenzlow, CPW Director also defended their decision to euthanize the bears.
"Whenever an animal is euthanized, we receive many questions about why that action was necessary," he said. "Our responsibilities to the natural resources of the state are many, but we have no more important duty than to manage these resources in a manner that keeps Coloradans and our visitors safe."
"Euthanizing wildlife is never an action our officers take lightly, but we have an obligation to prevent additional avoidable harm."
However, not everyone believed it was the right decision...
Officer Chick said it was "very likely" the bears would have attacked humans again so the outcome was unavoidable.
"Once a bear injures or consumes humans, we will not risk the chance that this could happen to someone else," he said. "We humanely euthanize that bear because of the severity of the incident."
He also added that bears have a natural instinct to return to a food source repeatedly.
"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."
This tragic news comes after there have been multiple reports of bear encounters in the area.
?Colorado has a population of between 17,000-20,000 black bears, each with the potential to kill humans. Local authorities in the area have warned residents to be extra careful and not do anything that could entice the creatures to their homes, such as leaving food in cars or keeping doors open.
While fatal bear attacks in Colorado are rare, they could happen and this recent incident proves just that.
RIP to the woman who lost her life due to this terrible attack. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.
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