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UPDATE: 5-year-old girl is recovering after she was attacked by a bear

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(NBC News) -

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials believe they have killed a bear that attacked a five-year-old girl near her home Sunday in Grand Junction. 

The girl's Mother says it happened early Sunday morning. She heard screaming around 2:30 a.m., and when she went to see what was going on she saw a large black bear dragging her daughter.

She says the bear dropped her daughter after she began screaming at the animal. 

She says the girl went outside to investigate noises that she thought were her dog.

The five-year-old was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. She's in fair condition and is expected to recover. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are calling the girl's mother a hero.

JT Romatzke, with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said, "As we understand currently, the child is in fair condition and is expected to have a full recovery." 

Romatzke said this is a horrific incident and truly the hero here is the mother I think, in my opinion. You know, before the sun rose on the morning of Mother's Day, 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.

Romatzke said, "As of last night at 9pm, wildlife officers did lethally remove one male boar bear, probably about two years old. We do believe this likely is the bear that caused this incident. We will, however, wait for confirmation from DNA results and other testing." 


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A five-year-old girl is recovering in a Colorado hospital after she was attacked by a bear near her home.

The girl's mother says it happened early Sunday morning.

The mother heard screaming around 2:30 am, and when she went to see what was going on she saw a large black bear dragging her daughter.

She told officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife that the bear dropped the girl after she began screaming at the animal. 

She says the girl went outside to investigate noises that she thought were her dog.

The five-year-old was taken to St. Mary's hospital with serious injuries.

Doctors at St. Mary's say the girl received more than six dozen stitches, but the whole family is relived things weren't worse.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers say bear sightings are not rare this time of year.

Dr. Charles Beaux Jr., a pediatric surgeon said, "She's been the calmest person in the room all day long. She's in very good spirits and her family is in good spirits too. They're thankful that she wasn't injured worse than she was."

Mike Porras, with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife NW said, "You know one of the things that we are reminding the public is that bears are active right now. They're awake and they're looking for food. If you have attractants in your yard, if you have trash out, if you have bird feeders out, and things like that, it certainly increases the chances of bring a bear into your neighborhood, into your home."

Colorado parks and wildlife has set out traps and a heavy law enforcement presence is in the area searching for the bear.

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