When a Colorado mom woke up to the sound of screaming at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, she went outside to investigate.
While outside of their Grand Junction home, she found a large black bear dragging her 5-year-old daughter, according to a statement from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The home, in East Orchard Mesa, is just above the Colorado River corridor.
The mom began to scream — and the bear dropped the girl and escaped. The daughter was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
The girl's mom told officers that her daughter went outside to "investigate noises" that she thought may have been from her dog, according to the release.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The bear got away, and officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are tracking the bear with the help of federal wildlife services employees.
Earlier this year, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that wildlife officials were fearing another deadly year for bears due to a lack of food in the wild.
"We had a real mild winter, but we haven't had much moisture at all over winter or spring so far," officer Cody Wigner told the newspaper. "So, there's really nothing for them to eat."
The lack of food encourages bears into neighborhoods and cars while looking for garbage they can eat.
"You get sightings year-round because they have that year-round food source, which is trash," Wigner told the Gazette. "Currently, it's not looking good."
In April, a "hangry bear" locked himself into a car in Boulder County.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks that residents secure trash, keep pet food inside and report all neighborhood bear sightings.
"Black bears are trying to share space with an ever-growing human population," the department says on its website. "With many more people living and playing in bear country, human-bear encounters are on the rise."