GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (KKTV) – The bear, who is suspected of seriously injuring a 5-year-old girl, has been euthanized.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced on Monday that officers had tracked down the animal they believed was responsible for Sunday morning's attack.
The little girl's mother told the wildlife officials that she was screaming around at 2:30 am in her backyard, and to her horror she found her daughter dragged by a bear.
The bear fell off the child after hearing the mother's cries
The 5-year-old was brought to St. Mary's Medical Center. She was listed in fair condition. The doctors told the sister station KKCO that she was in a good mood despite more than six dozen stitches. The recovery is expected to take several weeks.
The mother told Colorado Parks and Wildlife that her daughter thought she heard her dog outside and so she was in the yard.
The incident occurred in eastern Orchard Mesa south of Grand Junction on the other side of the Colorado River. Wildlife officers screened the area for the bear and put three traps in the area overnight, which were then monitored. CPW says early Monday morning, officers saw the bear walk to a house half a mile from the orphanage. It was killed before it could be trapped.
An autopsy and DNA results will confirm that the bear was the same one who attacked the little girl, but CPW said, based on his description and behavior, they were self-assured officers killed
Wildlife officials remind the public Keeping houses from being a simple food source for bears is the simplest way for the animal to lose its fear of humans. Secure trash bins, keep pet food, and remove the less obvious temptations such as bird food and barbecues. Experts say that once a bear discovers a way to get food on a person's property, they will remember and keep coming back. Sunday's incident is a sobering reminder, no matter how much some Colorado residents enjoy seeing bears in their neighborhood, they are still wild animals, and encounters can be dangerous to both humans and bears.