No charges for parents of Grand Junction bear attack victim

No charges for parents of Grand Junction bear attack victim

A black bear stands in a wooded area in Newton Thomson Reuters (Reuters) - Wildlife rangers in Colorado were hunting a bear early Monday that attacked and tried to drag off a five-year-old girl from her yard.

The attack happened in East Orchard Mesa, an unincorporated area near Grand Junction, about 240 miles west of Denver.

The mother heard screams about 2:30 a.m. outside her home, which is above the Colorado River Corridor in Grand Junction, and went outside to investigate, according to a news release by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Her mother went outside, the release said, when she heard screaming.

The traps will remain in place in the meantime and state and federal wildlife officers, with the help of dogs, will keep searching the area for signs of additional bears.

"Fortunately, she had no life-threatening injuries", Breaux said.

While bear attacks on humans are rare, Porras said there is growing concern. "No injuries to her brain or chest organs or abdominal organs and no fractures".

"She came out ... she yelled at the animal", said CPW spokesman Mike Porras.

Another bear was spotted about a half-mile from the girl's home a week ago, Romatzke said.

Based on the description of the bear and its behavior, wildlife officers are confident the dead bear is the same bear involved in the attack on the girl.

Authorities have set three traps for the bear.

The bear will be sent to Fort Collins facility for necropsy.

Colorado has an estimated 17,000 to 20,000 bears, a population that's considered robust in a state of 5.7 million people that also attracts many tourists.

There were five bear attacks in Colorado past year.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises the public to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife to their residences by removing attractants, including trash, bird feeders and other potential sources of food.

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