On the Rampage: 5 Bear Attacks in the U.S. in a Week

On the Rampage: 5 Bear Attacks in the U.S. in a Week

Although bear attacks are a relatively rare occurrence, a string of incidents in the U.S. this last week has many people concerned.

Seven people have been attacked in five different states, including a 12-year-old girl in Michigan who was mauled while jogging. A hunter was also attacked in Alaska, where he spent 36 hours in Arctic National Park before search and rescue teams could locate him. Two researchers were charged by a grizzly in Idaho, two hikers were attacked by a sow at Yellowstone National Park and a camper was bitten in her tent in Colorado.

The Michigan girl, Abby Wetherell, was chased down by a black bear and suffered deep gashes to her legs and back while jogging on a trail near her grandparents' home in Cadillac, Mich. Wetherell needed more than 100 stitches to close up her wounds but was still able to run back home after the attack. Wetherell said she thought it was the end for her.

"I was thinking, this is it, I am a goner," she told ABC News Sunday. "All of a sudden, the bear stopped me and put me down on ground, scraping me and clawing me. So I was, like, petting it. I don't know where that came from. But, I just thought maybe if I petted it, it would like me.


"Well, that did not work so, then it just got me again. And then I heard that you should play dead. So that's what I did. And then it kind of went away and then it looked back and then it just took off."


The rash of bear attacks this past week raises the question as to why so many have happened in a relatively short span of time. According to Harry Reynolds, vice president of the International Association for Bear Research and Management, it may just be a matter of happenstance.

"I think the recent attacks are circumstance and not any larger outside issue weighing into the attacks," he told CNN. "In past years in Alaska, when there are berry failures, the bears may be more aggressive in looking for food. But this year was a good crop. I really think the recent bear attacks are just circumstance — people in the wrong time at the wrong place."

While not typical, the rise in attacks also coincides with the summer months, which are prime time for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. As more people venture into wilderness areas where bears live, it's only logical that interactions would increase. If you need a few pointers on how to fend off a bear attack — or you just need a good laugh — there's also one reporter's attempt to demonstrate bear survival skills.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 7: Beginner's Luck

Host Kali Parmley takes first-time hunter Danae Hale of CZ-USA to Wyoming for a mule deer hunt. After covering all the basics with Danae, the girls head into the field and what happens next goes way beyond either of their expectations!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 9: Aloha Axis Deer

Host Mike Schoby joins his buddies Jon Dubin and Jeff Johnston on the island of Lanai for a deer hunt Hawaiian style!

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

My deer-hunting seeds were planted and nurtured as a youngster on my family's small farm in North America

Best Units for Hunting Western Mule Deer

Josh Dahlke

My deer-hunting seeds were planted and nurtured as a youngster on my family's small farm in

Follow these basic steps to prepare your meat, then pair it with one of these delicious marinades. Recipes

8 Best Venison Marinades

Hank Shaw

Follow these basic steps to prepare your meat, then pair it with one of these delicious...

We evaluate the four factors in determining whether a cartridge is viable for long-range hunting: trajectory, wind drift, impact velocity, and accuracy. Ammo

Is the .308 a Viable Long Range Cartridge?

Keith Wood

We evaluate the four factors in determining whether a cartridge is viable for long-range...

What's The Best Coyote Cartridge? .22-250 Versus .223 Ammo

What's The Best Coyote Cartridge? .22-250 Versus .223

Joseph von Benedikt & David Faubion

What's The Best Coyote Cartridge? .22-250 Versus .223

See More Trending Articles

More News

Mike Fies was home getting ready for Christmas when his boss called. A woman not far from Fies' News

Ghost Cats: Eastern Cougars Don't Exist!

David Hart - October 24, 2016

Mike Fies was home getting ready for Christmas when his boss called. A woman not far from...

In this News

A Boy's First Buck

Hunting Online Staff - July 25, 2018

In this "Petersen's Hunting" clip, Mike Schoby initiates his young nephew into the world of...

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws. News

Will COVID-19 Pandemic Kill Hunting Tag Applications?

Joe Arterburn - March 27, 2020

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws.

COVID-19 forces NRA to cancel 149th Annual Meetings. News

NRA Annual Meetings Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Lynn Burkhead - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 forces NRA to cancel 149th Annual Meetings.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.