Victim identified in fatal bear attack near Durango

National

DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) – The woman killed in a bear attack near Durango has been identified. 39-year-old Laney Malavolta was attacked Friday night while she was walking her dogs. Her family calls her a lifelong adventurer and lover of the outdoors.

It was a horrific death that authorities said was an accident. “It is extremely rare,” Jason Clay with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. “It is extremely sad and tragic. All signs point to this as being an apparent bear attack.”

Investigators said they believe the bears killed her while she was out walking her dogs just north of Durango. Her boyfriend is the one who found her. “The boyfriend got home around 8:30 p.m. and found the dogs in the backyard and started to search the area,” Clay said. “Around 9:30 Friday night, he discovered the body of his girlfriend.”


Her boyfriend shared a message on Facebook Tuesday that said in part, “Laney spent her life in the outdoors and was an experienced and knowledgeable operator in the backcountry. Her greatest joy was to be in the woods with our friends, our family, and our dogs.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers said this comes after authorities searched the area and found a female black bear with two cubs nearby. All three were euthanized after human remains were found in two of the three bears. “There was observations that the body had been consumed,” Clay said. “It is extremely sad that there is not only loss of human life but also loss of life of bears.”

According to our sister station in Denver, Malavolta’s parents have recent addresses here in Albuquerque. The most fatal bear attack in Colorado was in 2009 near Ouray.

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