Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 27, 2013

Bear shot near Cadillac not same one that attacked girl

LANSING — The DNA of a bear killed Aug. 18 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources does not match the DNA of the bear that attacked 12-year-old Abby Wetherell near Cadillac, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today, Monday.

According to a DNR press release, the bears carcass was examined by the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory in Lansing, in cooperation with Michigan State University and the Michigan State Police. Tests were conducted for disease and the bears DNA was extracted. The bear DNA was then checked against DNA from fur and saliva lifted from Abbys clothing and from the scene of the attack. The tests showed that the bear that attacked Abby was a female. The bear that was killed was a male.

The DNR will extend trapping efforts in the area of the attack through the end of the week and will continue to monitor bear activity in that location. The DNR asks the public to report bear sightings in the area of the attack, which is in Wexford Countys Haring Township.

Reports can be made to the DNRs Report All Poaching (RAP) Hotline, (800) 292-7800, or the departments 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. Bears are a natural part of the landscape within this area and their presence should not be seen as a threat.

The bear tested by the DNR was the result of a complaint received at about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 17 in Wexford Countys Selma Township. Michigan conservation officers arrived on the scene to find that a man had wounded the bear by gunshot on his property because he perceived the bear to be a threat to his life. Conservation officers subsequently tracked the bear and shot the animal at approximately 2:45 a.m. Aug. 18.

For additional information on living with bears, visit the DNR website at



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