Bear Shot After Mauling 5 Year Old girl!

Wildlife officers are confident the male bear they shot and killed Sunday night is the same bear that mauled a 5-year-old girl in East Orchard Mesa early that morning.

The girl — whose name hasn’t been released by authorities — is in fair condition and St. Mary’s Medical Center staff are monitoring her wounds after she underwent surgery and received 77 external stitches for bite marks.

The girl’s family did not want any information released about whether the girl is still at the hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife set three traps in the area for the bear and shot it as it headed toward a residence about a half-mile from the attack site near a home in the 3400 block of D Road.

An officer killed the bear at about 9:30 p.m., before it entered a trap, said Mike Porras, spokesman with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“One of the things we want to do is go to the family and tell them we killed the right bear, and we’re glad to hear that she will make a full recovery,” Porras said Monday of the girl and the family.

To be certain the killed bear is the same bear that attacked the girl, officials took the bear’s carcass to the Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a necropsy, an animal autopsy. From there, the bear’s carcass will be transported to a lab in Wyoming for DNA testing, at which point authorities can officially determine if they killed the correct bear, Porras said.

In the meantime, wildlife officials are continuing to search the East Orchard Mesa area for other bears, he said.

“In this case, it was our priority to protect human health and safety,” Porras said about killing the bear. “We’re here to provide protection to the public and ensure the public remains safe.”

Porras said wildlife officers have a theory the bear hibernated in the area and recently came out of hibernation seeking food. The bear attack occurred just south of the Colorado River, a riparian area that may be attractive to the bruin.

When the girl was attacked, both she and her mother acted correctly by screaming and fighting back, he said.

“This little girl is lucky to be alive,” Porras said. “You fight back. You want to teach a bear you don’t want to be messed with.”

Comments are closed.