Black bear killed after attacking jogger near Lake Whatcom

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officers had to kill a black bear after it attacked a jogger in Whatcom County.

According to officials, WDFW were notified of a black bear attack in a forested area north of Lake Whatcom Wednesday morning. A man was jogging on a trail there around 8:30 a.m. when he encountered the bear, which attacked him and left injuries on his hands and feet.

The man was taken to the hospital for treatment and was released later that afternoon.

"We are extremely thankful that the victim is recovering and receiving medical care from this unfortunate encounter," said WDFW Police North Puget Sound Cpt. 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."

Officers returned that evening to the area of the attack with a Karelian bear dog. They found a black bear by the incident site and killed it.

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Officials say only 18 bear attacks have been documented since 1974, the last occurring in 2015. If you ever encounter a bear in the wild, officials remind you to:

  • Stand upright
  • Wave your arms above your head
  • Talk in a low voice
  • Avoid direct eye contact
  • Do not run from the bear

The goal is to avoid yourself as a human. Officials also recommend you make noise and keep your pets leashed when hiking, so you do not risk startling a bear. WDFW also recommends carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it.