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

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. — The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office has released new information regarding the incident involving a 5-year-old girl who encountered a bear on Sunday.

A statement released to the public said that deputies concluded no charges will be sought in the disturbance that took place in the backyard of a rural Grand  Junction home.

The parents’ actions were determined not to be criminal nor negligent.

At 2:39 a.m. deputies responded to the 3400 block of D Road in East Orchard Mesa for a report of a child attacked by a bear, according to the department.

Deputies learned that some members of the family went to bed around 1:30 a.m. after having waited up for their father to return home from a trip.

Around 2:30 a.m., the little girl heard what she believed to be her dog “throwing a fit” and went outside to check on it.

She sat down by the back door and a bear came around the front of the house and sniffed her.

When she got up to come inside, the bear grabbed her and “ripped her from the door.” Her mother said she heard her screaming and went outside. When the mother started screaming at the animal, the bear dropped the girl, police said.

Initially, the father thought his daughter had been camping outside in their backyard when the attack occurred.

He reported that information to dispatchers when he called 911 and to deputies who responded.

The father later reported to deputies that information was incorrect.

He told deputies once he spoke to his daughter he learned she was not camping in their backyard like he initially guessed, but rather went outside when she went to investigate a noise.

During the call to 911, both parents remained calm and the father described the injuries to the girl, saying she had been bitten on her leg and buttocks, and said she was not bleeding severely.

The parents turned down requests from the dispatcher to send an ambulance. The father said the bear was still in the backyard during the call.

The bear believed to have been involved was trapped and euthanized.

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

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