Bear attacks 12-year-old girl in northern Michigan

Bear attacks 12-year-old girl in northern Michigan

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -

A black bear attacked and injured a 12-year-old girl who was running along a privately owned trail in northern Michigan's Wexford County, an official with the state Department of Natural Resources said Friday.

The girl had surgery for serious thigh wounds at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City and is expected to survive, DNR spokesman Ed Golder said. Agency personnel were still searching for the bear.

It's rare for black bears to attack humans unless they have a sickness such as rabies or are protecting cubs, Golder said.

"We don't have evidence of cubs in this case," he said. "We don't know what the situation is. We're out trying to trap this bear. When we do, because of the danger it poses, we'll euthanize it and check it for disease and do forensic tests."

The girl, from the Cadillac area, was on property owned by her grandfather in Haring Township when she caught a glimpse of the animal in her peripheral vision, Golder said. She picked up speed and the bear attacked. She was able to get away but the bear knocked her down again.

A neighbor heard the girl's cries for help and chased the bear away. The girl was flown by helicopter to the hospital.

The black bear is the only bear species in Michigan, the DNR says. Adult males weigh from 130 to 500 pounds, while females range from 90 to 300 pounds.

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