Human remains were found in the bellies of two black bears suspected of mauling a 39-year-old Colorado woman to death last week, authorities said.
A mother bear and its two yearling cubs were euthanized because state wildlife officers believed the animals had killed the woman – and could attack again.
“A bear that loses its fear of humans is a dangerous animal,” Cory Chick, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s regional manager, said in a Sunday news release.
“And this sow was teaching its yearlings that humans were a source of food, not something to fear and avoid,” he added.
A pathologist found human remains in the 204-lb. mother bear and one of its two cubs, the announcement said.
The pathologist’s initial examination showed the bears were healthy and had adequate fat stores. But it could be up to two weeks before the results of microscopic tissue tests that could show other issues that might have set them off, like rabies.