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UPDATED: Whatcom jogger attacked by bear, hospitalized

Photo of a bear in the area of Thornton Road and Elder Road (May 10, 2016). Photo courtesy Shaaron Coleman

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.” 

Click for more information

Click for more information

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:


  1. John August 4, 2022

    It would be beneficial to everyone if we knew WHERE in Whatcom county, exactly, this happened.

  2. Cheri King August 4, 2022


  3. Eleanor Burke August 4, 2022

    why was Bear killed? It is also Bear’s home? Bears were here before humans? I am so tired of the myth of human supremacy. Where do we expect animals to live if we continue to develop develop develop, take take and take. Maybe we close parks 1 day a week so that wildlife can just be in their homes w/out humans disturbing them. We let gas guzzling power boats pollute all over Lake Whatcom our DRINKING WATER source? As well as have no caps on noise- what does loud rap music and pop music ricocheting off the lake at all hours of the day do to the fish and the birds and the insects who live near by? We have got to change our ways and stop being so human centered.

  4. Mike August 4, 2022

    Grizzly bears will attack to eliminate a threat but when Black bears attack people they are doing so because they view them as food. Once a Black bear gets to this point they must be destroyed, unfortunately. Good job by Fish and Wildlife personnel. Rural residents keep your garbage safe from bears so they don’t become conditioned to associate humans with food and that will save Black bears lives.

  5. Carrie O August 4, 2022

    I know, I can’t imagine why they killed the bear! Don’t they have a way to move it farther away?? That’s just so sad

  6. Hugh R Hudson August 4, 2022

    The safety tips included with this article somehow have more contradictions than pieces of advice. MAKE NOISE. And don’t let your garbage accumulate. Black bears love that, and if food is scarce, they can look so much like dogs you might interact with them as such before noticing.

  7. PacNWer August 4, 2022

    Sadly, the bear had to be killed. Once a bear finds a food source in a neighborhood, they will revisit that same location over and over again & will also start to search for similar food sources in other areas if relocated: “current research suggests that adult bears almost always return to their former ranges and generally do so within a month, regardless of the distance they are moved. (Landriault 1998)”. ~

  8. Jim August 5, 2022

    I hope they didn’t just dispose of the bear. Bear sausage is very good. Unless it has been eating trash, mountain bears that eat berries & grasses are better. Not sure how a bear that’s been eating people would taste.

  9. Renee Chadwick August 5, 2022

    I just said the same thing! Living where we do its only common sense if you’re in the forest/out in nature you are in wild animals homes. If you don’t want to encounter such animals stay away from where they live!

  10. Ned August 5, 2022

    Yogi’s Gone Wild. 🐻

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