A large black bear attacked a 5-year-old girl in her backyard in Colorado early Sunday, game officials said.
The unidentified girl walked out of her home at 2:30 a.m. after hearing a noise outside. She thought it was the family dog in the backyard of their Grand Junction home.
The child’s mother then heard her daughter shouting and headed outside to see what had happened.
“When she went outside to investigate, she witnessed a large black bear dragging her daughter,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) stated. “She told CPW officers the bear dropped the girl after she began screaming at the animal.”
The child suffered serious injuries to her back and near her head, The Denver Channel reported. She is in fair condition at a local hospital and is expected to fully recover, officials said.
The same bear is believed to have recently attacked a neighbor’s chicken coop and eaten the birds. Wildlife officials have set traps and are tracking the bear with bloodhounds. If it’s found, the bear will be killed because officials believe the animal will remain a threat to humans.
Officials are asking area residents to keep trash, pet food and even bird seed inside, and report any bear sightings until the animal is found. By Sunday evening, the bear still hadn’t been located.