The devastated boyfriend of a woman killed in a bear attack has paid tribute to his “northern star” and love of his life.
Remains of Laney Malavolta were found on Friday night by her boyfriend near Durango, situated about 350 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado.
The 39-year-old had taken their two dogs out for a walk when she was attacked by a mother bear and her cubs. Human remains were found in their digestive tract.
Her boyfriend, who discovered her remains after he went out to look for her, has paid tribute to his ‘life-long adventurer’ and love of his life.
He said: “Laney spent her life in the outdoors and was an experienced and knowledgeable operator in the back country.
“Her greatest joy was to be in the woods with our friends, our family and our dogs.
“We would like to express our sincere appreciation for the organizations involved in the investigation of Laney’s death and her recovery.”
Laney worked as a wine sales representative with the Republic National Distributing Co., according to the Durango Herald.
The tribute continued: “While Laney’s physical presence was suddenly taken from this earth, all that know and love her can take comfort; Laney’s soul will live forever in her favorite place, doing her favorite thing.
“She would not have wanted it any other way. While this tragedy has shaken me and our family to the core, our burden is eased as we consider these facts.”
Wildlife officers used tracking dogs to locate the 10-year-old female bear and her two cubs in the area, and the three were euthanized, saying it was likely the bears would attack humans again, a statement said.
Examination of their carcasses at a state wildlife laboratory revealed human remains in the digestive tracts of the mother bear and one cub, the agency said.
Investigators said that an autopsy found Laney died of “penetrating injuries to the neck,” including several bite wounds, La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith said.
“Whenever an animal is euthanized, we receive many questions about why that action was necessary,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “Our responsibilities to the natural resources of the state are many, but we have no more important duty than to manage these resources in a manner that keeps Coloradans and our visitors safe. Euthanizing wildlife is never an action our officers take lightly, but we have an obligation to prevent additional avoidable harm.”
Colorado is thought to have between 17,000 to 20,000 black bears. Over the last two years there have been 879 cases involving bears forcefully breaking into homes or garages, as per the Denver Post, citing Colorado, Parks and Wildlife.
Fatal attacks on humans are extremely rare, with just four documented in the state since 1960.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Laney Malavolta. Rest in peace.