Girl Mauled By Bear Plays Dead To Survive

Girl Mauled By Bear Plays Dead To SurviveBears rarely attack humans unless they feel threatened or territorial. But a 12-year-old girl jogging in Michigan is among the latest victims in a spate of bear attacks that have left seven people mauled in five states since Thursday.

‘Played dead’

Abby Wetherell was out on her nightly jog when she was ambushed by a black bear Thursday outside her home in Cadillac, Michigan. She tried to run at first, but, “It just took me down,” she told CNN’s Piers Morgan Live.

Eventually, she said, she played dead, hoping it would go away. It did, but not before inflicting cuts and scrapes to her face and deep gashes on her legs that required dozens of stitches. After the bear left, Abby ran toward a neighbor’s house, screaming for help. The bear came after her once again, but neighbors were able to scare it away, she said.


‘Anomaly’

Authorities also reported attacks in Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. The Michigan incident was an anomaly, officials said. Michigan has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 10,000, but only about two bear-to-human incidents a year, said Ed Golder, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.

Attacks by bears have risen as human populations have grown, according to a study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management in 2011. The study also found that bears that have previously killed people are more likely to attack again, traveling in a party of two people or more is safer, and human food and garbage attracts bears.

“The reason why we’re having bear attacks now is because we have vacationers out in the areas where bears live,” said Tom Stalf, CEO of the Columbus Zoo. The bears are “out foraging and looking for food.”

Have you ever witnessed a bear attacking a human? What would you do if you were the one being pursued by a black bear?

Source: Holly Yan. Josh Levs and Dave Alsup | CNN

Image: ABC News

Woman Sentenced To 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot Against Abusive Husband

Woman Sentenced To 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot Against Abusive HusbandSaying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

‘Persecuted because of her race’

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation. The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who is handling the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race.

State Attorney Angela Corey said she had offered Alexander a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence, but Alexander chose to take the case to a jury trial, where a conviction would carry a mandatory sentence under a Florida law known as “10-20-life.”


‘Reasonably threatened’

The law mandates increased penalties for some felonies, including aggravated assault, in which a gun is carried or used. Corey said the case deserved to be prosecuted because Alexander fired in the direction of a room where two children were standing. Alexander said she was attempting to flee her husband, Rico Gray, on August 1, 2010, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall. She said her husband threatened to kill her, so she fired one shot.

Alexander’s attorneys tried to use the state law that allows people to use potentially deadly force anywhere they feel reasonably threatened with serious harm or death. But a previous judge in the case rejected the request, saying Alexander’s decision to go back into the house was not consistent with someone in fear for her safety, according to the Florida Times Union newspaper.

Do you agree with the 20-year jail sentence given to Marissa Alexander? Why or why not?

Source: CNN Wire Staff | CNN

Image: Political Blind Spot