In the evenings, Donna Munson liked to sit in front of her picture window and watch the bears amble toward her Ouray County log cabin for dinner.
The 74-year-old woman — who stocked her backyard with dog food, fruit and yogurt — was found dead outside her home Friday, being eaten by a bear.
State officials had tried so many times to convince her to stop feeding the wildlife that she stopped responding to them and tried to have them banned from her property in southwestern Colorado.
Wild animals are wild, by definition, even if they act friendly. I don’t have any problem with her putting herself at risk, but her behavior also threatens others:
Neighbors complained about a growing number of bears in the hills, ransacking trash cans and even trying to break into houses this summer. Still, Munson kept feeding the bears.
Two of the bruins were shot and killed by Ouray County sheriff’s deputies Friday while they investigated Munson’s death. Deputies said the animals were threatening and had no fear of people.
Two other bears were captured and euthanized in July after a caretaker at Munson’s cabin complained they were too aggressive.
Apparently, the woman was giving special attention to a bear cub who had been injured and told a friend that she was going to use a broom to “swat a large bear that was bothering the baby bear.”
Randy Cassingham covered this on his This Is True newsletter, and he lives in the area. Go read his blog for some personal comments on the situation and a few related photos.