Black bear chases down, claws 12-year-old girl in Michigan

Abby Wetherell, seen in a photograph provided by her mom Elizabeth, was attacked by a bear while running down a dirt trail Thursday in northern Michigan, according to officials. AP

A 12-year-old Michigan girl was in stable condition in hospital Friday after a black bear chased her down and clawed her, leaving her with deep lacerations to her thigh, the state's department of natural resources said. 

Abby Wetherell was on foot on a road near her home in Wexford County at about 9 p.m. Thursday when the black bear attacked her, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

"She began to run in hopes of reaching nearby homes," the department said in a statement. "Abby was able to get to her feet and ran again. The bear caught up with her and attacked a second time."

Wetherell was airlifted to a hospital where she underwent surgery for deep lacerations in her thigh, according to the department.

Bear attacks often occur when a mother is protecting her cubs. According to the natural resources department, there is no evidence that cubs were present near the attack.

In an unrelated attack on Thursday, a grizzly bear injured two hikers in Yellowstone National Park after they unexpectedly encountered the bear's new cub.

The same day, Idaho wildlife officials reported that two biologists collecting grizzly habitat data in the eastern part of the state were knocked down and injured by a charging grizzly after they startled it.