A four-year-old girl was transported to a hospital with a gunshot wound to her upper body, Anchorage Police Department said in a statement.

Police responded to a Prudhoe Bay Avenue home in Eagle River Wednesday morning. The girl was visiting family and the home, APD says.

"Initial indications are that the wound was self-inflicted and the loaded handgun had intentionally been left on the kitchen counter due to the area’s bear population," police said.

A neighbor said bear danger is highest on trash pick up days, which are Tuesdays.

According to APD, an adult and a group of five juveniles — all of whom are related — were in the home when the incident happened. A statement from police says the four-year-old is expected to survive her wounds.

"This case serves as a reminder to always practice gun safety," APD said.

In an interview, APD Communications Director MJ Thim said, “Regardless of why you have a gun, you've got to practice gun safety and keep it out of children's reach. Don't leave a gun out, don't leave it unattended, don't leave it loaded, lock it up.”

The police are still investigating the situation and no charges have been filed at this time.

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