Wildlife officers kill bear suspected of attacking girl

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A five-year-old girl has been seriously injured after being attacked by a bear outside her home in Colorado.

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.

The girl's mother told state wildlife officers that her daughter went outside around 2:30 a.m.to investigate noises she thought might be related to her dog.

Her mother went outside when she heard screaming.

Doctors at St. Mary's Medical Center in Grand Junction say the girl is in good spirits and is surrounded by her family and stuffed animals.

"She truly exemplified the love and courage of what it takes to be a mother and, because of those actions, her child is here today", said JT Romatzke, regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Based on bear behavior, it's possible this bear will come back to the area".

Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises the public to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife to their residences by removing attractants, including trash, bird feeders and other potential sources of food.

He said she had 77 external stitches and more internally.

Authorities have begun setting up bear traps around Grand Junction in order to capture the animal which attacked the girl, reports CBS4. "With many more people living and playing in bear country, human-bear encounters are on the rise".

Low food quantities force bears to head into neighborhoods and cars to look for garbage to eat.

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