No charges against parents of 5-year-old attacked by bear

Scavenger The dead bear’s paw is examined

No charges will be filed in connection to a bear attack that seriously injured a 5-year-old Grand Junction over the weekend.

Pediatric surgeon Charles Breaux Jr. told reporters Sunday that the bear bit the unidentified girl on her back side but she suffered no fractures or injuries to her brain or other organs.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said they are investigating and actively tracking the bear following the attack which occurred in East Orchard Mesa, Grand Junction.

The girl's mother heard a commotion, investigated, and discovered a large black bear dragging her daughter. When the mother started screaming at the animal, the bear dropped the girl, police said.

The child was taken to St. Mary's hospital and she is expected to recover.

In a 911 recording obtained by KREX 5 News, the father twice told the emergency operator that his daughter had been camping alone in the backyard when a bear grabbed her by the buttocks and leg. He said Kimberly will be "fine" after the attack happened at their D Road home around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

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"Right on, good for her", the dispatcher responded.

Based on the description of the bear and its behavior, wildlife officers said they are confident the dead bear is the same bear involved in the attack on the girl.

"We intend to catch this bear", said an agency spokesman, Mike Porras, on Sunday. Because acorns and berries that bears typically rely on are doing well in the mountains where they usually live, officials suspect the animal hibernated locally and became accustomed to easily finding food near homes, from trash, livestock feed or grills.

Federal and state wildlife officers are using traps in an effort to capture the bear that is now considered unsafe.

State officials have seen an increase in bear conflicts over the years as more people continue moving to Colorado and push farther into bear country.

The last human death from a bear interaction in Colorado was in 2009, according to CPW.

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