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East Orchard Mesa girl in 'fair' condition after bear attack

East Orchard Mesa girl in 'fair' condition after bear attack

Wildlife officers shot a 125lb (57kg), approximately two-year-old male bear they believe to have been responsible on Sunday night as it was walking up to a nearby home in East Orchard Mesa, a semi-rural area about 240 miles (386 km) west of Denver.

CPW officers will transport the bear's carcass to the agency's Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a full necropsy, according to a press release.

The child's mother told CPW that she heard screaming at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning (May 13) and went out to investigate.

A five-year-old girl was attacked by a bear, bitten and dragged before the girl's mother scared off the animal. Officers killed the bear before it entered the trap. Kimberly Cyr was taken St. Mary's Hospital with serious injuries, but CPW told KKCO her condition has been upgraded to "fair". She says the bear dropped the girl after she began screaming at the animal. "And by doing so, she probably saved her little girl's life", said Porras, AP reported.

The attack led officials to renew their call for residents to secure food sources and use bear-proof rubbish bins.

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Wildlife agents were hunting for the bear with tracking hounds and had set traps to catch it.

Paediatric surgeon Charles Breaux Jr said the bear apparently bit her but that she did not have any injuries to her brain or organs, and did not suffer any fractures.

While bear attacks on humans are rare, Porras said there is growing concern.

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