Jogger Attacked By Black Bear In Whatcom County

Washington fish and wildlife officers report lethally removing an adult black bear near where a jogger was attacked Wednesday morning in central Whatcom County.

The man suffered “multiple injuries to his hands and feet” and was treated and released from a local hospital.

“We are extremely thankful that the victim is recovering and receiving medical care from this unfortunate encounter,” said WDFW Capt. Jennifer Maurstad. “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.”  

The bruin was tracked down with one of the agency’s Karelian bear dogs yesterday evening.

The sex of the bear and details of the location of the attack weren’t immediately available. The incident is “under investigation” and WDFW game wardens are “collecting statements,” according to spokeswoman Becky Elder.

It’s the first bear attack on a person since 2015, according to WDFW.

Information on the incident is being posted to this agency webpage.

The same page has tips for what to do in case you run into a bear, as well as recreating in bear country.

“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,” WDFW advises. “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.” 

In late May of this year, a 9-year-old girl was seriously injured by a cougar at a church camp in southern Stevens County.