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.
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.
That "bares" repeating.
Really? She appeared to, at a minimum, underestimated this particular risk.
And what part of the Centennial state do you live in? you are most likely one of the snarky city dwellers and a transpkant at that
I was born and raised in Colorado. Would still be there except my job requires me to be some where else. I have spent enough time aaround bears and the folks who live in remote sections of the state to understand both. I know exactly what my risks are and this woman did too. I never suggested she was being “kind”. She endangered no one else ( yeah yeah go ahead and say your piece. You are in fact wrong).
Go back to your city dwelling, turn on the electricity, watch your TV, and tell me all about the hard life one has in ‘the wilderness’
LOL...I read the book on the Lewis and Clark expedition, and when they met the Indians, those Indians tried to warn them about the grizzly bears, which the white guys had never encountered before.
Apparently, Lewis, Clark and the rest of the team said something along the lines of “We ain’t concerned about no stinkin’ bears! We got Guns!” and immediately began actively looking for these special bears, much to the horror and astonishment of the Indians, who couldn’t understand these suicidal white guys.
Someone made a famous crude painting of one of their first encounters, which shows a whole bunch of guys firing wildly into a grizzly, which in the picture looks as if it was painted 25 feet tall...
If I recall the account, they shot it something like twenty times, it ate their guns and chased them across a river or something like that.
They drily stated in their account they they would not seek any encounters with those bears in the future.
I had to laugh. That was before the Grizzlys were cut down to size, and I’ll bet those were some HUGE, mean, wild bears!
Worf might have actually won that fight, unless it was the 400#er.
bear? bare? oh nevermind
In this case, it was self-adjusting.
If you could read, he says he lives in the Springs
Don’t take a broom to a bear fight. Messing in a bear fight is OK as long as you have sufficient bear medicine.