WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Details remain sparse but officials with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have confirmed a man out jogging on a “trail in a forested area of central Whatcom County” was attacked by a black bear.
A WDFW press release said they were notified of the incident Wednesday, August 3rd, about 8:30am.
He sustained multiple injuries to his hands and feet and is receiving medical care at a local hospital.Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (August 3, 2022)
WDFW Police North Puget Sound Captain Jennifer Maurstad is quoted in the release, “He did everything right during the incident and we wish him a speedy recovery. Wild animal encounters are unpredictable but, in most cases, they wish to avoid conflict as much as we do.”
WDFW Police Spokesperson Becky Elder told Whatcom News via email they were still investigating the incident and unable to provide the specific location.
That evening, officers with the use of a Karelian bear dog, “located and lethally removed” an adult black bear near where the incident occurred according to Elder
WDFW Police had received reports of a black bear near the area of the incident from 2 individuals. 1 report was of a sighting of a black bear and the other stated a black bear was scavenging in trash.
WDFW officials offer the following advice to minimize the risk of injury if a bear is encountered in the wild:
In general bears avoid people, but they’re naturally curious animals. If a bear walks toward you, identify yourself as a human by standing up, waving your hands above your head, and talking in a low voice. Back away, avoiding direct eye contact. Don’t run from a bear. WDFW recommends making noise and leashing pets while hiking. Be aware of your surroundings as to not accidentally startle a bear. While recreating, WDFW recommends carrying bear spray that is readily accessible and knowing how to use it. More information on how to use bear spray is available on WDFW’s blog.
For more information on living with black bears go to: https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species/ursus-americanus#living