Wyoming authorities warn of dangerous wildlife predator on the loose

(Reuters) - Wyoming authorities on Thursday warned residents of a sprawling Indian reservation to be on the lookout for a dangerous predator suspected in the death of a 40-year-old woman who died after being attacked by at least one unidentified animal.

The warning from Fremont County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Stratmoen said an examination of the woman’s body found on the mountainous Wind River Reservation showed she died of an animal attack or a combination of hypothermia and wounds inflicted by one or more predators.

“This is to notify the public to use caution and be alert for any observations of predator wildlife, or any groups or individual feral domestic animals in the general area,” Stratmoen said in a statement.

He declined to say what sort of animal might be behind the attack on the 2.3 million-acre reservation in southwestern Wyoming that is home to more than 3,900 members of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and about 8,600 members of the Northern Arapahoe.

The case is under investigation by the FBI.

Officials with the Wind River Law Enforcement Center said at least one tribal member had been severely injured in recent years by a pack of feral dogs that roamed the reservation.

Hair collected near where the body was found had been sent to a Wyoming lab for DNA analysis, a state Game and Fish officer said. The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Salmon, Idaho; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney