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Young Girl Recovering After Attack By Black Bear

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Black bear.
(credit: Michigan DNR, File photo)

Black bear.
(credit: Michigan DNR, File photo)

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DETROIT (CBSDETROIT) – A 12-year-old Michigan girl is doing well after being attacked by a black bear in Wexford County’s Haring Township, just north of Cadillac.

Abby Wetherell was heading home from an evening jog on her grandfather’s property Thursday night when the bear began chasing her. The girl was knocked down twice and slashed on one of her thighs — until her neighbor scared the animal away.

Abby’s grandfather, David Wetherell tells WWJ that in spite of undergoing a lengthy surgery, Abby is still concerned about others …

“She’s a very tough little girl, when I seen her Thursday night at the hospital, her big concern was – she’s letting down her soccer team,” said her grandfather.

” … to enclose the wounds and a lot of cleaning out because she was mauled and a lot of dirt in the wounds – so she was in surgery about two and a half hours,” he said.

Her grandfather says the DNR has placed three live traps out there to catch what may be a renegade bear – baiting the traps with bacon and different fruits.

Wetherell says it’s not uncommon to see a black bear in the area, although it’s rare for a black bear to attack.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has set traps in the area of the attack and has asked the public to be on the lookout.

Bear experts say that in the rare circumstance that you encounter a bear that does not turn and leave, first try to scare it off by yelling while leaving a clear, unobstructed escape route for the bear. If the bear stands its ground, makes threatening sounds, take slow steps backward while continuing to talk to the bear in a stern tone. In the rare event of an attack, the DNR says you should fight back with a backpack, stick or your bare hands.

The DNR also recommends campers and hikers carry pepper spray, which has been shown to be effective in fending off bear attacks.

Michigan has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 10,000 bears, with 90 percent of the population in the Upper Peninsula.

For more from the DNR bear behavior, click here.

Read related story – HERE.

 

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