12-Year-Old Girl Thought She Was a ‘Goner’ in Bear Attack

ABC_abby_wetherell_dm_130819_16x9_992 bear attack mauling animalA 12-year-old Michigan girl thought she was “a goner” after a black bear attacked her twice as she jogged near her grandparents’ home last week.

Abby Wetherell was jogging on a trail in Cadillac, Mich., Thursday when she was mauled by a black bear that weighed several hundred pounds. After the second attack by the same bear, Abby played dead before the bear walked off.

She sustained deep gashes and puncture wounds to her thighs and back. Abby needed more than 100 stitches to close her wounds.

“I was thinking, I shouldn’t have went for this jog. I was thinking, this is it, I am a goner,” Abby told ABC News Sunday in a telephone interview.

The attack took place around 9 p.m. local time when Abby said she noticed the bear out of the corner of her eye. She picked up speed as the bear chased her through the woods.

“I see this bear. Oh, my gosh. I start running the way I was coming from,” she said. “All of a sudden, the bear stopped me and put me down on ground, scraping me and clawing me.”

Abby said that the bear eventually stopped attacking her and that was the moment she decided to get up and make an escape. But the bear came back.

“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,” she said. “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,” she continued. “And then it kind of went away and then it looked back and then it just took off.”

Abby remained lifeless until the bear finally disappeared back into the woods. She started running toward her grandparents’ house screaming and crying for help.

Abby’s dad, Chris Wetherell, who was in the area, was in “shock” after he learned his daughter was attacked by a bear.

“I didn’t believe it was a bear attack until I saw the claw marks and the bruises and it was horrible,” Wetherell said.

In addition to the gashes and puncture wounds to Abby’s thighs and back, the seventh-grader suffered cuts to her face.

“When the bear was attacking me, I couldn’t feel it,” she said “I was just numb. I don’t know how or why but my whole body went numb and when I started getting up it hurt bad.”

Abby was taken by helicopter to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Mich., where more than two hours of surgery were needed to treat her injuries. Abby is finishing her recovery at home and says she’s determined not to let her run-in with the bear haunt her.

“It’s over. But, I’m not going to go in the woods without anybody,” she said. “I’m OK and I’ll be all right.”

Abby is one of at least six people who have been mauled by bears in five states in the past week.

The attacks on hunters and hikers come just before the start of hibernation season, as hungry bears search for food before settling in for winter. But the number of bear attacks is up across the country.

In Yellowstone National Park alone, there have been 64 percent more attacks so far this year than there were last year.

Get right with God, these are critical life and death times & circumstances that we are in. What does tomorrow hold for any one of us? Car accident? Sudden heart attack? A coworker gone postal?

For YOUR eternal salvation, this benefits me nothing but benefits you beyond mortal description. Pray this in faith, I can’t pray if for you:

Jesus, I am a sinner and I come to You as my Savior. I repent of my sins and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died to cleanse me of my sins, please cleanse me now. You died and rose again, be my personal Savior Who lives forever.

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Norovirus Hazard, Outbreak Yellowstone

gty_yellowstone_national_park_ll_130620_wgNorovirus Outbreak at Yellowstone Highlights Camping Health Hazards

Those heading on a camping trip this summer might want to be just as wary of crossing paths with the wrong bacteria as they would a hungry bear.

After 200 park employees and visitors reported bouts of gastrointestinal illness at Yellowstone National Park and nearby Grand Teton National Park this month, national park officials have warned visitors to be vigilant about hygiene.

The outbreak started on June 7, when a group touring the Mammoth Hot Springs complained of stomach flu and other gastrointestinal problems. After the tour group members reported their illnesses, about other 50 visitors and 150 park employees reported similar symptoms.

Preliminary reports found that they had norovirus, or “stomach flu,” which affects up to 21 million people, every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctors Warn of New Stomach ‘Superbug’ Hitting U.S.

Al Mash, spokesman for Yellowstone National Park, said campers who were worried about the outbreak should take care to properly store their food and wash their hands with soap and water before eating. “Don’t rely on hand sanitizer. It’s good for a while if you don’t have access to water,” said Mash. “But sanitizer is a poor second to washing your hands.”

According to the CDC, the norovirus can be very contagious and is usually passed from contaminated surfaces or food.

Mash said that while it might be more difficult to wash hands before and after meals on camping trips, sporting goods stores sell soap slivers or biodegradable soap that can be used on camping trips. “My manta is be aware but not afraid,” said Mash.

Employees at Yellowstone and nearby Grand Teton park have been cleaning and disinfecting the areas where the illnesses were first reported. Yellowstone National Park regularly has 20,000 visitors a day.

The norovirus outbreak is just the latest one to hit the national parks. Last year, Yosemite National Park experienced an outbreak of the deadly hantavirus. Infection with hantavirus, often contracted through contact with contaminated mouse feces or urine, can lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which can be fatal, according to the CDC.

For Hantavirus Survivors, Yosemite a Painful Reminder

During last summer’s outbreak, eight people were sickened and three died. To stop the spread of disease the National Park Service tore down the buildings where the outbreak was centered and are currently trapping and testing mice for the hantavirus.

Kathy Kupper, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said if campers were worried about becoming sick they should be sure to check in with the park’s website or information line before they arrive. Any potential hazards from disease outbreaks from high concentrations of ticks, for example, will be listed in each national park’s newsletter or on its website.

“Always pay attention to the information. Don’t just take the [informational pamphlet] and throw it in the glove box,” said Kupper.

Kupper said the one piece of camping safety advice, which is most often forgotten, is to stay put if lost.

“Otherwise it’s like a wild goose chase,” said Kupper. “Stop moving. That way you’re conserving energy, and rescuers have a better chance to find you.