Black Bear Attack On 12-Year-Old Michigan Runner Called ‘Unprovoked’

A black bear attacked Abigail Wetherell, 12, when she was running near Cadillac, Michigan on Thursday night around 9 PM.

The unprovoked bear attack was serious. According to CBS Detroit, the black bear knocked her down twice and clawed her thighs. The Detroit Free Press described the condition of her clothes after the attack as “shredded.”

She was flown to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, where she underwent two-and-a-half hours of surgery.

Abby’s 66-year-old grandfather David Wetherell owns the property where the black bear attack occurred. The family is still baffled.

They’ve always seen many bears in the area. But none of them has ever attacked before.

A neighbor heard the screams and was able to frighten the bear off.

But because of the unprovoked nature of the attack, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would now like to trap the animal. Bear attacks are very rare in Michigan and almost always involve cubs.

But it’s August now, and no one has seen any recent cubs in the area.

DNR has baited at least three traps with bacon and fruit for the rogue bear. They would like to catch it and euthanize it so that it can be tested for rabies or another disease that affects behavior.

It has been an active summer for bear activity. I rounded up a list of some of the late spring and early summer bear attacks on this page.

And some of the black bear activity has been more of a warning sign than an actual attack. In one case, a black bear broke into the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee.

And another black bear simply decided to take a nap on a family’s porch in Florida, giving them the opportunity to take video footage of the odd bear visit.

On Saturday, Abigail Wetherell’s family said that she was recovering well. “Her big concern was she’s letting down her soccer team,” her grandfather said.

She sounds like a brave girl. I have to admit I’d have bigger worries than soccer after a black bear attack.

[black bear photo credit: jjjj56cp via photopin cc]