A bear that was involved in an attack on a girl in Colorado was tracked down and killed, according to reports.
The Grand Junction Sentinel reported that wildlife officers are confident that a male bear they shot and killed Sunday is the same one that attacked the girl.
The girl is currently in fair condition at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Her name wasn’t disclosed by local authorities.
A spokesperson for the hospital said that the family didn’t want any information about whether the girl is still at the hospital.
An officer killed the bear at about 9:30 p.m. local time before it went inside a bear 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.
After dealing with the bear, they took the animal’s carcass to the Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a necropsy, the paper reported.
The mother told state wildlife officials that her young daughter went outside at around 2:30 a.m. local time to investigate noises. She thought it was her dog, the mom said, according to The Associated Press.
Then, the mother, who was not identified, saw her girl being dragged by the black bear. The mother started screaming, and the bear dropped the girl.
“She yelled at the animal, she screamed at it. And by doing so, she probably saved her little girl’s life,” said Porras, AP reported.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported earlier in 2018 that Colorado wildlife officials feared another deadly attack because of a lack of food for black bears.
“We had a real mild winter, but we haven’t had much moisture at all over winter or spring so far,” Officer Cody Wigner told the paper. “So, there’s really nothing for them to eat.”
Low food quantities force bears to head into neighborhoods and cars to look for garbage to eat.
“You get sightings year-round because they have that year-round food source, which is trash,” Wigner added to the Gazette. “Currently, it’s not looking good.”
Last month, a hungry bear got locked inside a car in Boulder County, Kansas.com reported.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in a statement on its website, told residents to secure their trash, keep pet food inside, and tell officials about any bear sightings in residential areas.
“Black bears are trying to share space with an ever-growing human population,” the department’s website stated. “With many more people living and playing in bear country, human-bear encounters are on the rise.”