A woman was found dead after an apparent bear attack in Colorado

(CNN) — A 39-year-old woman was found dead Friday night after an apparent bear attack in southern Colorado, according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife news release.

“The woman, a Durango resident, was believed to have gone walking with her two dogs earlier Friday according to information provided to the La Plata County Sheriff’s office by her boyfriend,” the release said.

The boyfriend had last heard from the woman that morning, and when he returned home around 8:30 p.m., he “discovered the two dogs outside of their home, but the woman was missing,” according to CPW.

“He started searching for her and discovered her body around 9:30 p.m.” off U.S. Highway 550, north of Durango, and called 911, the release said. “CPW wildlife officers responded and observed signs of consumption on the body and an abundance of bear scat and hair at the scene.”

A “dog team 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 said.

“Bear attacks are extremely rare,” according to Cory Chick, manager of CPW Southwest Region. “This is a tragic event and a sad reminder that bears are wild and potentially dangerous.”

Over the last several decades, there have only been 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 by early next week, the release said.

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