CPW wildlife officers and La Plata County Sheriff's deputies investigate the scene of a suspected bear attack near Durango.(Handout)

DURANGO — Authorities have released the name of a woman who was killed in a rare bear attack in southwestern Colorado.

The La Plata County coroner identified the victim Tuesday as 39-year-old Laney Malavolta, of Durango. Her family and boyfriend released a statement saying, “Laney’s soul will live forever in her favorite place, doing her favorite thing.”

The woman was found mauled to death north of Durango after apparently going for a walk with her dogs Friday night.

A dog team found a 10-year-old female black bear and two yearling cubs nearby. The bears were euthanized because they were suspected of attacking the woman, and it was believed they would likely attack someone else.

The Durango Herald reports a state wildlife pathologist found human remains inside the stomachs of two of the bears, and Malavolta’s autopsy report said there was extensive damage to her neck from the attack.

The most recent fatal bear attack in Colorado was in August 2009 near Ouray, also in the southwestern part of the state. A 74-year-old woman was killed by a 394-pound (179-kilogram) male black bear, and an investigation determined she had been illegally feeding bears through the fence in her yard.

The Associated Press

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