GRAND JUNCTION - Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers killed a bear overnight, believed to have been the bear responsible for injuring a young girl in an early Sunday morning attack.
The 5-year-old girl suffered serious injuries in the attack that happened in East Orchard Mesa, above the Colorado River corridor. According to local NBC-affiliate KKCO, the victim's father, Duane Cyr, said that Kimberly Cyr, the girl attacked by the bear, will be fine.
Kimberly Cyr's mother told CPW officers she heard screaming around 2:30 Sunday morning. When she went outside, she saw a large black bear dragging her daughter. She told CPW officers the bear dropped the girl after she began screaming at the animal.
According to her mother, Kimberly Cyr had gone outside to investigate noises in the yard she may have thought was her dog. Kimberly Cyr was taken St. Mary's Hospital with serious injuries, but CPW told KKCO her condition has been upgraded to "fair."
A tweet from a reporter at KKCO said the girl had to get 77 stitches.
CPW officers tracked the bear with the help of federal wildlife services overnight. Wildlife officers placed three traps in the area overnight, actively monitoring them and continuing the investigation, when they observed the bear walking up to a residence approximately a half-mile away from the location of the attack. Officers killed the bear before it entered the trap.
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.
"The necropsy, along with DNA results will provide the confirmation, but we are confident we have the right bear," said Area Wildlife Manager Kirk Oldham. "However, we will leave all three traps in place for the time being out of an abundance of caution."
CPW advises the public to avoid attracting bears, and all wildlife, to their residences by removing attractants, including trash, bird feeders and other potential sources of food.
The last human death from a bear interaction in Colorado was in 2009, according to CPW. In the last five years, there have been 13 reported black bear attacks, including Sunday's.