Bear killed in Wexford County to be tested for link to attack - New York News

Bear killed in Wexford County to be tested for link to Thursday attack

Posted: Updated:
Photo of the type of bear that attacked a 12-year-old girl in Wexford County, MI.  (Photo MI DNR) Photo of the type of bear that attacked a 12-year-old girl in Wexford County, MI. (Photo MI DNR)
  • Bear killed in Wexford County to be tested for link to Thursday attackMore>>

  • Bear attacks 12-year-old girl

    Bear attacks 12-year-old girl

    Friday, August 16 2013 4:53 PM EDT2013-08-16 20:53:48 GMT
    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A state official says a bear attacked and injured a 12-year-old girl in northern Michigan.
    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A state official says a bear attacked and injured a 12-year-old girl in northern Michigan.
MIchigan DNR -

Two Michigan conservation officers responded to a complaint about a bear at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday in Wexford County's Selma Township, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today.  Conservation Officers Sam Koscinski and Holly Pennoni arrived on scene to find that 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 12-year-old Abby Wetherell that occurred Thursday, Aug. 15, in Haring Township, Wexford County. It is uncertain whether the bear killed Sunday is the same bear involved in Thursday's attack. Abby underwent surgery at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. She was released from the hospital today and is recovering at her Haring Township home.

The bear's carcass has been sent to the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing for DNA and disease testing. The animal will be checked against fur and other DNA samples lifted from Abby's clothing and from the area of Thursday's attack. Because of the difficulty of extracting DNA evidence and the time required for processing tests, results will take several days. The bear killed Sunday may not be the animal responsible for Thursday's attack. The DNR will continue to keep bear traps in the area of the attack and to monitor bear activity in the area.

The DNR asks the public to report bear sightings in the area of the attack. Reports can be made to the DNR's Report All Poaching (RAP) Hotline, 800-292-7800, or the department's Cadillac Operations Service Center at (231) 775-9727. The black bear is a protected species under Michigan law. The public is reminded not to shoot a bear unless the animal poses an immediate threat. 

Michigan has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 10,000 bears with 90 percent of the population in the Upper Peninsula. There is an established bear population in the area of Wexford County where Thursday's attack occurred. Black bears are generally fearful of humans and will usually leave if they become aware that people are present. Bear attacks on human beings are highly unusual, and in most cases occur because a sow is protecting her cubs. However, there is no evidence that cubs were present where the attack on Abby occurred.

The DNR reminds those living in areas where bears may be present:

  • 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 living with bears, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/bear

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Terror threats at chemical plants underestimated

    Terror threats at chemical plants underestimated

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-07-30 13:08:58 GMT
    Congressional investigators say the government is underestimating the threat of a chemical attack on America's densely populated cities and has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it...
    Congressional investigators say the government is underestimating the threat of a chemical attack on America's densely populated cities and has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it...
  • Teen in elevator attacked and robbed

    Teen in elevator attacked and robbed

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:31:54 GMT
    Two thugs were caught on security camera footage beating a teenager and stealing from her inside an apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.  The NYPD says the attackers are seen dragging the 18-year-old out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her.
    Two thugs were caught on security camera footage beating a teenager and stealing from her inside an apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.  The NYPD says the attackers are seen dragging the 18-year-old out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her.
  • TSA contest calls for ideas to improve airline security lines

    TSA contest calls for ideas to improve airline security lines

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:11:07 GMT
    Everyone hates long lines at security checkpoints and the TSA knows it. Now the TSA is sponsoring a contest to encourage anyone with new ideas about how to make the airport security lines go faster. Often for air travelers, the security checkpoint experience is the worst part of their trip. That's why the TSA turned to the crowdsourcing site Innocentive asking for ideas pledging a total of $15,000 in prize money, with at least one $5,000 award.
    Everyone hates long lines at security checkpoints and the TSA knows it. Now the TSA is sponsoring a contest to encourage anyone with new ideas about how to make the airport security lines go faster. Often for air travelers, the security checkpoint experience is the worst part of their trip. That's why the TSA turned to the crowdsourcing site Innocentive asking for ideas pledging a total of $15,000 in prize money, with at least one $5,000 award.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices