Bears don't often attack humans. In fact, Michigan normally only receives two bear encounter reports per year despite their bear population of about 10,000.
But just this past week alone, at least seven people have been attacked by bears throughout the country.
A 12-year-old girl in Michigan is one of them. Abigail Wetherell is now recovering from a terrifying attack by a black bear that left deep gashes on her thigh.
"A bear just kind of came out of nowhere knocked her to the ground,” Abigail’s mother Elizabeth Wetherell says. “She went to get up to try to get away and the bear came back at her again."
“To survive she relied on instinct,” CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin reports.
“She decided the best bet was to lay there and play dead,” Wetherell says.
Sambolin says, "This attack is the latest in a string of bear maulings across the country."
“Last week, a brown bear mauled a hunter in the northern Alaskan wilderness,” Sambolin reports. “He survived a harrowing 36 hours until the Air National Guard spotted him using night-vision goggles and airlifted him to safety.”
Many are now wondering what's causing the rise in bear attacks.
"The reason why we're having bear attacks now is because we have vacationers out in the areas where bears live,” explains Tom Stalf, President and CEO of Columbus Zoo.
“They're out foraging and looking for food."
“And this morning, Michigan wildlife officials in Michigan are running tests on a bear that they killed to see if it's the same one that mauled Abby Wetherell on Thursday evening,” Sambolin says.
“The bear was killed about two miles from the area where Wetherall was attacked according to the state's Department of Natural Resources.”