Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Wednesday confirmed that it killed the bear that attacked a young girl at her home in East Orchard Mesa on Mother’s Day.
The bear was a 2-year-old male, cinnamon-colored black bear, weighing 150 pounds, spokesman Mike Porras said in a news release.
“The necropsy revealed the bear was in good body condition with no signs of diseases,” Parros said. “Rabies testing was negative.”
Wildlife officers reported that they killed the bear in the yard about a half-mile away from the attack. Two officers said the bear came within a few feet of their vehicle, and looked into the open window as they monitored a nearby bear trap.
CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins conducted the necropsy on Monday, and delivered the DNA evidence to the Wyoming Game and Fish Laboratory, which confirmed it was the attacking bear.
“From the moment we first learned of the attack through confirmation that we killed the right bear, there have been a lot of dedicated people working very hard to protect the public and conduct a thorough, timely investigation,” said regional manager JT Romatzke. “We continue to pray for the little girl and her family and they remain in our thoughts. We are glad to hear she is doing better. It gives us a great sense of accomplishment to let them know we have dealt with the bear that attacked their daughter.”
Romatzke said personnel with the USDA’s Wildlife Services searched the area with hounds early Tuesday morning, finding no evidence of recent bear activity. Officers plan to remove the three traps from the area.
The 5-year-old girl was hospitalized Sunday with serious injuries at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Pediatric surgeon Charles Breaux Jr. said the bear apparently bit the girl on her back side, but she didn’t suffer fractures or brain or organ injuries, according to The Associated Press. She received dozens of internal and external stitches, Breaux said.
A spokeswoman for St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Teri Cavanagh, said Monday that doctors expected her girl to “mend very well.”
Neither the hospital nor CPW released or confirmed the names of the girl or family.
The girl’s mother told CPW officers she heard screaming about 2:30 a.m., Sunday, and when she went outside, she saw a black bear dragging her daughter. She said the bear dropped the girl after she began screaming at the animal, CPW said. The girl had gone outside to investigate noises related to her dog, her mother said.
Black bears may be cinnamon, or honey-colored, brown, blond or black. They weigh up to 450 pounds and stand 5 feet tall.
Although considered carnivores, a black bear’s natural diet typically consists of berries, acorns and insects. Trash, dirty campsites, bird feeders and food provided by humans can condition a bear to seek food sources in residential areas, a leading cause of human/bear conflicts, CPW said.