Fox 32 - UPDATE: Bear Attack in Wexford County

UPDATE: Bear Attack in Wexford County

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The 12 year old girl from Haring Township is in stable condition after undergoing surgery after a black bear attack.  She suffered deep cuts in her thigh.

Just after 9 PM, Abby Wetherell, was heading home from a cabin down a two-track, north of Cadillac, when she saw a black bear.  She began to run, hoping to make it to a nearby house. 

The bear attacked and clawed her. Abby got to her feet and started running when the bear attacked her again. 

The girl shouted for help. A neighbor heard her and ran to her aid, calling out Abby's name.  The bear was startled and ran off. 

DNR is actively searching for the bear by setting traps were the attack happened.  After finding the bear, DNR will kill and test it for disease. 

DNR wants area residents to stay away from where the attack occurred.  They are working hard to catch the bear.

If you see the bear, please contact DNR Cadillac Operations Service Center at 231-775-9727 or the DNR Report All Poaching (RAP) Hotline at 800-292-7800.

Michigan has about 8,000 to 10,000 bears, 90% of the population in the Upper Peninsula.  There is an established bear population in Wexford County where the attack occurred. 

Black bears are generally fearful of humans and usually leave the area if people are near.  Most black bear attacks happen because the mother bear is protecting her cubs. 

Some important tips to remember when bears may be present in the area,

To avoid surprising bears, travel in small groups and make noise.

If you encounter a bear, stand your ground and then slowly back away. Do not turn away. Do not show fear and run. Do not play dead.

Make yourself look bigger and talk to the bear in a stern voice.

Fight back if actually attacked with a backpack, stick, or bare hands. 

Carry pepper spray, which has been shown to be effective in fending off bear attacks.

For additional information on Michigan bears, follow our link above.



Just into the Fox 32 newsroom, late last night a girl was attacked by a bear in Wexford county.

The DNR says they were out all night dealing with the situation.

Right now we do know that the girl is alive and at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.

Stay with us throughout the day as we work to bring you more details.

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