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Grandpa Says Michigan Girl Tried To Pet, Befriend Bear During Attack

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(credit: istock)

(credit: istock)

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CADILLAC, Mich. (WWJ) – The grandfather of a 12-year-old girl mauled by a bear says the woods-loving child is smiling again after returning home from the hospital.

But she’s also sore.

“A lot of bruises, punctures, lacerations, some real deep lacerations on her thighs, she had over 100 stitches,” Dave Wetherell, 66, said. “There was no bite marks, just paws.”

Abigail was treated for abrasions and puncture wounds before being released from a Traverse City hospital Sunday, three days after the attack in Wexford County, near Cadillac.

“She fought it off and got away from it, and she took off running again and it caught up with her again and knocked her down,” Wetherall said. “According to Abbey, at that point, she tried petting the bear, she thought it could make friends with it and it would leave her alone, but that just did not work so then she played dead.”

Is the bear still alive? No one knows for sure.

The DNR reported officers responded to a complaint about a bear at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday in Wexford County’s Selma Township. Conservation Officers Sam Koscinski and Holly Pennoni arrived to find a man had shot and wounded a bear on his property because he perceived the bear to be a threat to his life.

Koscinksi and Pennoni subsequently tracked the bear and shot and killed the animal at approximately 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

The bear was killed about two miles from the area of a bear attack on Wetherell. It is uncertain whether the bear killed Sunday is the same bear involved in Thursday’s attack, DNR officials said.

Wetherell reportedly believes the bear that was shot may be larger than the one that hurt his granddaughter, who was running on his property when she was attacked.

“She loves the woods, she loves to hunt, she will be back in the woods, but it will take a little time,” Wetherell said.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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