East Orchard Mesa girl in 'fair' condition after bear attack

Leroy Wright
May 14, 2018

When the mom went out side, she saw the black bear dragging her 5 year-old daughter, the bear dropped her after she started screaming at the animal. The mother's screams scared the bear away. "Based on bear behavior, it's possible this bear will come back to the area".

The girl received more than six dozen stitches, but Breaux says she's in good spirits.

According to the mother, the five-year-old had gone outside after hearing noises in the yard which she thought may have been her dog.

"[The girl] has been the calmest person in the room all day long", said pediatric surgeon Dr. Charles Breaux of St. Mary's Medical Center. Wildlife officials have set traps and are tracking the bear with bloodhounds.

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Ross Birch, the executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, said he knows that officials "walk the fine line". Like the town of Kamuela which is home to vast cattle ranches and Hawaii's own cowboys, called paniolo.

The girl was hospitalized in fair condition on Sunday afternoon.

Kimberly's recovery could take several weeks.

Federal and state wildlife officers are using traps in an effort to capture the bear that is now considered risky. If caught, the bear will be put down. The press release notes that residents should expect heavier than normal law enforcement presence as well as hounds in the area until further notice.

Officials are asking area residents to keep trash, pet food and even bird seed inside, and report any bear sightings until the animal is found.

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