A small boy is safe in Mesa after quite the run-in with a black bear Saturday.
State wildlife officials tell us the boy spotted the young bear outside of his home before turning around and running back. The bear chased after him until the boy's father shot it with a gun.
Officials say the bear was able to run back into the woods where they believe it eventually died. They are continuing to search for the carcass.
"We do support the father in this case because he certainly had the right to do protect his family from this threat," Mike Porras with the Colorado Division of Wildlife said. "But, we don't know for certain what that bear's intentions were."
Porras said there are ways to avoid this kind of a situation in the wild. "Any time you see a predator, do not run away from them because that provokes an instinct that makes them chase," he described. "You should start backing away slowly and appear larger than you are anytime you see a predator in the wild."
He says the only time officials will advise you to run away from an animal is when you encounter a moose in the wild.
"Making the search for this bear difficult is the rain that we've seen in the area," Porras added. "In the next few days, we will be looking for evidence of meat eating birds feeding on the carcass."