Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) released a statement confirming that the black bears involved in the fatal mauling of a 39-year-old Durango resident had been euthanized. Officials pointed out that euthanizing an animal is the last resort. If the bears were not euthanized, they would likely attack humans again.

On Friday, April 30 the unnamed woman had gone out of her home to walk her dogs. Her partner was surprised when the dogs returned Trimble home with their leashes on, but the woman was missing. He went searching for the woman.

Around 9:30 p.m. his search came to an end when she found her body, The Washington Post reported. CPW officials confirmed that the woman had been mauled to death by a bear based on fur and excreta found near the body. The body had also been consumed by the animals.

With the help of dogs, the officials were able to find the 10-year-old female bear thought to be responsible for the attack. She along with her two yearling cubs were “humanely” euthanized by officials.

The woman’s body has been sent to the La Plata County coroner's office. Autopsy reports will establish the official cause of death. The bodies of the bears were sent to CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins. Necropsy of their bodies confirmed the suspicion that they ate the woman’s corpse. Human remains were found in the stomachs of the female and one of her cubs. The initial examination proved that the bears were in good health. Further tests will prove if they had any illnesses that were not revealed by the necropsy.

The discovery indicates that the bear could have taught the cubs to hunt humans. By hunting humans, the bears lose their fear, making people more vulnerable to bear attacks. When the three bears would start actively hunting locals as prey, people would be at high risk of fatal attacks.

CPW Director Dan Prenzlow released statements to assure people that euthanizing the animals was necessary. He said that it was integral for the safety of Colorado residents and visitors, Nine News reported. CPW Southwest Region manager, Cory Chick, supported the statements by saying that the bears would likely attack humans again.

bearcrash A motorcyclist struck a bear in British Columbia's Highway 7. YouTube