Bear's DNA does not match bear that attacked young girl

Abby Wetherell was attacked by a black bear while running in Wexford County's Haring Township in mid-August.

The DNA of a bear killed by the Department of Natural Resources does not match the DNA of the bear that attacked 12-year-old Abby Wetherell near Cadillac mid-August.

The DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory extracted DNA from the bear's carcass and was compared to the fur and saliva taken from Abby's clothing.

The testing showed the bear that attacked Abby was a female. The bear that was killed was a male.

The DNR said the male bear was killed as a result of a complaint in Wexford County's Selma Township. Conservation officers arrived on the scene to find that a man had shot and wounded the bear because he believed the bear was a threat to his life. The bear was then tracked and killed the next day.

The DNR says the bear was not killed because it was suspected of being involved in Abby's attack. However, after the bear was killed, it was tested for a possible relationship because it was found within two miles of the attack location.

Given the results, the DNR is extending trapping efforts in the area of the attack in Haring Township.

The public is asked to report all bear sightings in the area of the attack through the hotline at 800-292-7800. The black bear is a protected species under Michigan law and the DNR is asking the public not to shoot a bear unless the animal poses an immediate threat.