Skip to comments.Autopsy: Woman Attacked, Killed By Bear (Family: Donna Munson Died Trying To Help Smaller Bear)
Posted on 08/11/2009 8:37:48 AM PDT by null and void
OURAY, Colo. -- An autopsy showed a 74-year-old Ouray County woman whose body was found being eaten by a bear was attacked and killed by that same bear after she attempted to help a smaller bear that had been hurt in a fight.
The son-in-law of Donna Munson told 7NEWS that Munson was trying to help a smaller bear that had gotten into a fight with an older bear on Aug 7. The smaller bear suffered broken teeth in the brawl, Munson told her family.
Munson told her brother by telephone that she was putting out hard-boiled eggs and milk for the younger bear to eat, said the victim's son-in-law, Bruce Milne.
Munson told her brother Thursday night that the older bear was back and said, "I'm going to chase it off with a broom."
According to the county coroner, Munson was grabbed by the bear and it slashed her head and neck with such penetrating force that Munson would have bled out in 90 seconds.
Sheriff's investigators said that the bear "clubbed" her through the wire fence that she had built around her porch, rendering her unconscious. It then grabbed her, pulled her underneath the fence to the back yard and then slashed her to death, the sheriff's office said.
Later that day, a witness found a large bear feeding on Munson's body as it lay outside her home.
When deputies arrived to investigate the report of a mauling on Friday, they were approached by a 250-pound bear, which was actively sniffing the body. A deputy with the Ouray Sheriff's Office fired six rounds and killed the bear. A necropsy on that bear showed that it neither attacked nor fed on Munson.
On Saturday about 3 a.m., a second bear was acting aggressively towards investigators who were still at the house. A DOW investigator shot and killed that bear -- a 400-pound male bear.
A necropsy on that second bear revealed human tissue as well as remnants of a shirt that Munson was wearing, according to the Ouray Sherrif's Office.
The home of Donna Munson. The DOW says she used a fence to protect herself as she fed bears.
Officials said the DOW had known for years that Munson routinely fed bears and would not stop, even after repeated requests from the DOW.
The remote nature of her home made observing possible wildlife violations impossible, the DOW said. Last year, the DOW sent a written notice to Munson and renters at her home warning of the dangers of feeding bears.
"It got to the point where she never opened her door for us, allowed us on her property or answered her phone," said DOW spokesman Tyler Baskfield. "Our officers went above and beyond, in terms of gaining her cooperation."
Munson had constructed a metal fence that covered her porch so that she could feed bears through the fence, wildlife officials said.
There have been only two fatal bear attacks in Colorado in the past 100 years. The first was in Grand County in 1971, when a man was killed. The second incident was Aug. 10, 1993, in Fremont County when a 24-year-old man was killed.
The family said Munson moved from southern California with her former husband, Jack, and they built the three-story log house outside of Ouray in 1978.
The coroner said her official cause of death was multiple trauma due to a bear attack. The manner of death was ruled to be accidental.
Only forest fires can prevent bears.
Moral: don’t mess in bear fights.
Winner, 2009 Treadwell Award
Mother nature can be the cruelest b*tch of all.
There is a great Far Side cartoon showing someone getting in an elevator, and his horror at realizing he had stepped between a mother bear and her cub.
Wild animals live short, brutal lives. The fantasies of tree-kissers come up hard against the true nature of wild animals.
Ya cain’t fix stupid.
A woman of this age knew the risks she took even with the bears she loved. She died doing what she wanted to do -— hope I get to be so lucky
Why, they’re just like big fuzzy people!
LOL. I remember that one.
Don’t bring an old lady to a bear fight.
California liberals !
She pulled a munson.
“You go in cage?”
“Cage go in water?”
“Shark in water?”
“Farewell to my fine Spanish Ladies...”
naive but well intended I guess
Don’t pick the shredded toilet paper pieces from baby bear’s butt...
Transcendental performance art worthy of Treadwell. And it worked out the same way, that's amazing. She truly gave her life for the cub.
Disney’s bears would never have done this sort of thing.
She should be a runner-up for a Darwin award.
note that is after the Grizzley population had been nicely trimmed.
The absolute last creature I would ever want to bump into in the woods is a baby bear. Baby bear means mama bear is nearby and mama bear just ain’t reasonable.
She wanted to fight bears with brooms?
When I die, I want to go like Grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... Not yelling and screaming like the other three people in his car...
What.... training bears to go to people's houses for food? What she did was not only damned stupid, but she also endangered other people's lives as well. Not to mention the bears that would have to be killed because of her "kindness."
Bears are large, incredibly strong apex predators, humans are small, physically weak prey.(with a few noteworthy exceptions)
This woman forgot she was little more than a snack, but the bear did not.
That’s just about all you will ever need to know about the ages long history of bear/human relationships.
Bim and Ben bang bears with brooms. Bim’s bear bangs and Ben’s bear booms...
There's your problem right there.
Now, if she had said, "I'm going to chase it off with a flame-thrower," (or a 12-gauge w/hardened slugs) we wouldn't be planning her funeral.
I currently own a Mossberg 500 for home defense, but I think I'll switch over to a broom. It's a real multi-tasker.
Yeah, they’re cute when they’re young. But then the grow up and wear a hat, collar and tie and go around stealing Pic-a-nic Baskets.
Never bring a broom to a bear fight!
She lived in a remote part of Colorado. She had been feeding bears ( and hence living around them) for years. She knew her environment and the risks.
It should be noted that the bear disagrees with this ruling.
Da Bears! is a whole nother animal.
Jay Cutler and the Bears are coming to Denver August 30th
“She died doing what she wanted to do”
Interfering with nature? Bears don’t need our ‘love’, they are programmed by nature to survive. It always seems to end badly when people selfishly inject themselves in nature’s ways.
It was gruesome but there are much worse ways to die in this world. She made her decision and the bear made one too.
Never bring a broom to a bear fight.