A 12-year-old girl was attacked by a black bear while jogging near her home in Cadillac, Michigan, an area approximately 200 miles northwest of Detroit. The 7th grader said she was immediately in fear for her life.
“It clawed me and it was growling,” she said. “It was scary.”
Abby Wetherell said she was coming home from her grandfather’s nearby cabin when she saw the bear; she escaped the initial attack, but was then knocked down for a second time.
“It was running toward me,” she said. “I ran as fast as I could, but it got me and took me down.”
Her father, Chris Wetherell, said he grabbed his gun after hearing his daughter scream and then immediately ran outside to help. It was a neighbor who helped the girl to safety.
Wetherell suffered 100 stitches after being flown to a nearby hospital. She had deep cuts on her thigh and back, according to a report.
In an effort to test it for disease, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources set traps to capture and kill the animal. Officials say they simply are not sure why the animal attacked her. They reportedly already killed a bear approximately 2 miles from the Wetherell home, but have yet to confirm whether or not it was, in fact, the same bear.
Officials have been seemingly hit with a rash of bear attacks in recently years. According to one report, bear attacks rise in proportion to the growth of the human population. A wildlife management study says that between the years 1900 and 2009, 63 people were killed in 59 different incidents across the U.S. and Canada. But they say bears will generally not engage with humans if they can help it.
“Black bears are generally fearful of humans and will usually leave if they become aware that people are present,” one official said.