Thomson Reuters FILE PHOTO: A black bear stands in a wooded area in Newton
(Reuters) – Wildlife rangers in Colorado were hunting a bear early Monday that attacked and tried to drag off a five-year-old girl from her yard.
The attack happened about 2:30 a.m on Sunday, when the child went outside to check on a noise she thought her dog had made.
The girl’s mother heard screaming. "When she went outside to investigate, she witnessed a large black bear dragging her …daughter," the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) agency said in a statement.
The bear dropped the child after her mother yelled at it, officials said.
The child, whose name was not released, was in a fair condition early Monday at a local hospital, NBC affiliate KKCO said.
"Our officers are actively searching for the bear and will do so overnight and as long as it takes," said Mike Porras, a spokesman for the CPW’s Northwest Region office.
Wildlife agents were hunting for the bear with tracking hounds and had set traps to catch it. If captured, the animal would be killed, Porras said.
The attack took place in East Orchard Mesa, a small community near the Colorado River and about 250 miles (400 km) west of Denver.
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by John Stonestreet)