August 29, 2013
DNA Tests: Bear That Mauled Girl In Michigan Still At Large
By Ben Romans
Last week we reported on a series of recent bear attacks, including one story of a black bear that injured 12-year-old Abigail Wetherell on Aug. 15, 2013. Michigan Department of Natural Resource (MDNR) agents later killed a bear they thought responsible, however, DNA test results show it’s not the same animal that attacked Wetherell while she was jogging through the woods near her grandparent’s Michigan cabin.
Wetherell escaped the bear’s first attack, but it made another charge, leaving her with deep cuts and puncture wounds. Adults in the area heard her screams and took her to Munson Medical Center for treatment. Later, agency personnel killed a bear a few miles from the scene after a man wounded the animal, claiming it was acting aggressive. The MDNR performed a DNA test on the bear to see if it was the same one that injured Wetherell.
In an article from the Detroit Free Press, Dave Wetherell, Abigail’s grandfather, said even before the DNA test, he suspected the bear killed by the MDNR wasn’t responsible because it was supposedly much larger than the one that attacked his granddaughter.
MDNR spokesperson Katie Keen says that the agency will continue to try to find the bear responsible for attacking Wetherell, but likely won’t find it.
“As time passes, the chances of trapping the bear that attacked Wetherell “diminish,” she said. “We’re not going to continue trapping forever. We’ve discussed that with Abby’s family and they are comfortable with what we decide.”