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Girl attacked by bear tells her story

8:39 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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  • Abby Wetherell - Aug. 19 in Cadillac
  • Abby Wetherell and DNR Officer Holly Pennoni
    

CADILLAC, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's not a fight you expect to win or even walk away from, but the 12-year old girl attacked by a 200-pound bear is home recovering and talking about her story of survival.

Abby Wetherell says she thought she was going to die as the bear hit her with his razor sharp claws. She was attacked not once, but twice.

"I thought to myself, this is it, I'm a goner. People don't survive bear attacks," recalled Abby.

She has several deep scratches mainly on her thigh, side, and rear. It happened Thursday night as she was jogging on the trail behind her family's home in Haring Township, near Cadillac.

"It was eating berries in the woods... They think it got startled," she said.

The bear knocked Abby down with its giant paws. "What I remember is it was grabbing my shirt, and going 'grrr.' I got tossed around."

Finally, the attack stopped. Abby started running, but the bear reappeared. "His face was in front of me, so I petted the bear and said, please don't hurt me, I'm not a bad person. That didn't work."

Abby remembered that you're supposed to play dead. Finally, the bear left her alone. "I sat there, thinking 'Holy cow, what just happened to me?' I'm looking at my leg."

Abby was able to run to a neighbors house for help. She was taken to the hospital where she received over 100 stitches.

Over the weekend, the DNR set up traps around the family's home. They also received a call from a resident who shot a bear just two miles away. That bear is being tested at the DNR's lab in Lansing. The Whetherell family says it was told that it's likely not the same bear.

As the search continues, Abby is concentrating on getting well. She's anxious for life to get back to normal, although she will never forget how lucky she is to have survived the attack.

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