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.
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.
The lady was a fool, and she was endangering others by training bears to look for food at people's houses.
There's no shortage of evidence for this.... "Feeding the bears" is a big problem in places where people and nature come together, and that includes places like Ouray.
Your wild he-man chest thumping aside, you appear to be as big a fool as this dead lady.
I read someplace that Lewis & Clark carried "state of the art" Air Rifles.
I read another account a while back of a journalist who went up to Alaska to write a story about life up there.
He ended up walking back to town, and came across two dirt poor looking urchins who were playing with some cans they had put rocks in, kicking them up the trail, playing catch back and forth with them, throwing them as high as they could in the air and catching them.
The journalist was really impressed by this, and told the kids that down where he lives, kids have more money and spend their days playing video games and such, but up here, even though they didn’t have money, they found the humble means to have a good time with no money, even if it mean making toys out of cans and rocks, and he thought that was special.
The two kids looked at him as if he were an idiot, and one of them said “What do you mean? These are our “bear cans” to make noise so we don’t surprise the bears. My mom and dad would give me a whipping if I didn’t have it! Where’s yours? Don’t you have one?”
The guy said no...then asked if he could borrow one of theirs, and the kids both said “No way!”
Hehehe...I love that!
I think I'd have to vote for 'suicide'.
If it were Oregon, you would have to credit the bear with an "assist"...
Question is... Can the bear bill Medicare?
I think I’ve seen that painting too.
Yeah, there was a lot of soiled buckskin around the campfire that night, I’m betting.
I’d love to have seen a pre westward expansion grizzly, before all of the real “trophy” animals were killed off.(from a distance and with binoculars of course.)
A broomhandle might be OK, but I’d prefer more than 9mm parabellum.
I wouldn’t have admitted that if I were the journalist.
“...and mama bear just aint reasonable.”
In this case the carnivirous bear was a male. Don’t know if related to smaller bear.
...she really munsoned that one.
I read and my comments are still the same.
Ouray county ——As of the census of 2000, there were 3,742 people, 1,576 households, and 1,123 families residing in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile
Before Disney most people understood the difference between animals and humans;I wonder if Disney was aware of the damage he was doing?
“Hold my strawberry daiquiri.”
I think you forgot the sarcasm alert.
Lewis had an air rifle. They used it often to dazzle the Indians. From a website...
“Lewis’s air gun was a remarkable property of the expedition. Widespread agreement is that it was a Girandoni-style air rifle, originally designed and built in Europe for the Austrian army. The Girandoni was .46 caliber, had a magazine for 20 shots, and was a repeater. Lewis used it to impress Indians in council. It was smokeless, and could fire 20 shots in one minute. The Indians were impressed. The air gun was the most unusual piece of equipment on the expedition. Air guns of that period and caliber are not silent and make a very loud crack.”
Is that a strawberry daiquiri, Dick?
No, it’s a hickory daiquiri, Doc...
Except she got both bears killed. That is the shame.
That was an amazingly advanced weapon for that time. I wonder though if they used that kind of weapon in their first (and only) attempt to hunt grizzlies, if a riffle like that simply had too low a velocity to effectively penetrate the heavy coat of a grizzly.
Sounds like she got “Munsoned” out in the middle of nowhere. Where’s Woody Harrelson when you need him????
So, you reckon the realtor who sells the place will tell the new owners all about the bears?
Causing wild animals to be dependent on humans for food, (indirectly or otherwise) doesn't do the critters any favors, either.
The next porch they show up on might have a rifle poking out the door.
Say all you want about my not being from Colorado, that does not change anything.
I would like to apologize
We do have some spawn of the shallower end of the gene pool.
Now I’m bear-ly listening.
People lived so much closer to nature then that I think everyone must have known those were fairy tales - it's only now, when kids never even see a raccoon, that they don't know better. I'm sure he'd have been horrified if he'd had a clue as to how his pleasant little fantasies would be warped in these days.
From the article: "Munson had constructed a metal fence that covered her porch so that she could feed bears through the fence."
What did she know?
That chicken wire would protect her from the aggression of a bear?
That a bear would be not become aggressive to a someone who loves bears?
If you're lucky enough, at her age, to do something you love, be smart enough to bring a gun of sufficient power to protect you while you're doing it.
Well, aren't you just precious? This woman can do whatever she likes as long as it only involves her, but feeding the bears endangered others living near her. One neighbor in particular had bear break ins to their house and also lost many, many of their chickens because one of this woman's "pet" bears broke in and killed them. This and other events were chronicled in another thread before this woman was killed when the DOW warned her about feeding the bears. I am glad she is the only one her "pets" snuffed and the neighbors are lucky it wasn't them.
This is an area of Colorado noted for bear activity —— ALWAYS has been.
So get over yourself. Live in the mountains and you run risks -— particularly in small isolated areas.
Bears are not the ONLY dangerous animals in the area. Raising chickens in Ouray county offers the local animals an opportunity for breakfast lunch and dinner —— coyote, puma, bob cats, etc ALL attack local live stock
The problem with these people, all other things aside, is that they wind up getting the animals they are trying to help killed. In this case, the 250 pound bear sniffing her was probably the bear she tried to help so she not only got herself and the bear that killed her killed but also the bear that she was trying to help. But good intentions are all that matter to some poeple, even if they pave a road to Hell with them.
You might want to quit while you are behind. Your original statement indicated to me that you don’t have a real understanding of nature. The woman and the bears would still be alive had she not started feeding them. Yes you run risks in ‘predator country’, but this was not a random predatory act; she drew the bears to her.
You got that right.....you should see ME!:)......btw, I LOVE your tag line.....LOL
And you are absolutely clueless. So quit while you are ahead as well
I have been an avid outdoorsman all my life, and learned long ago not to apply human emotions and morals to the animal world. That said, I will leave you to your opinion and will move on with mine.
The thing I don’t understand is A) I never said the woman did a kind thing. I said she died doing what she wanted to do. B) I never suggested that living in the mountains wouldn’t have its risks. C) I applied no human emotion to anything other than this woman died doing what she wanted to do.
“A woman of this age knew the risks she took even with the bears she loved”
Love sounds like a pretty strong human emotion.
Not important really. Obama is lying to us all on TV right now. That is real.