Bear attacks in Michigan are extremely rare. However, that doesn't mean it can't happen. As a matter of fact, it can happen and it can be deadly.

Related: Black Bear Spotted in Flushing, Michigan

Michigan's bear population is on the rise. According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are more than 12,200 bears across the state, with more than 10,200 reported in the U.P. However, the lower peninsula is seeing the largest increase in the number of bears, with a 55% increase in population since 2012.

The only species of bear found in Michigan is the black bear.

How Many Fatal Bear Attacks Have Been In Michigan?

There have only been three fatal bear attacks in the state of Michigan. Two of which happened in 1948 and 1978.

The earliest known fatal attack took place in Cheboygan in 1883.

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The most famous Michigan bear attack happened in the Upper Peninsula in 1948. A three-year-old girl was playing on the porch of the family cabin when she was snatched by a black bear. The bear carried the little girl off in its arms and walked away on its hind legs into the bush. The mutilated little girl was found along a stream. The bear was shot and killed as it returned to the body of its little victim.

The reason for the attack was attributed to hunger. The bear was said to be undernourished despite the abundance of berries, clover, and insects, a bear’s usual diet at this season

According to Dave Richey Outdoors, in 1978: Michael Patterson, 19, of Alma, was attacked by a boar and climbed a balsam tree to escape. Although his back and legs had been bitten and scratched by a bear, he ultimately succumbed to a ruptured lung and kidney. It's believed a bear pulled him from the tree, and the fall killed him.

Bear Attack in the Upper Peninsula, 1948

Most Deadly/Dangerous Animals In Michigan

If you see any of these animals... best to just walk away.

Gallery Credit: Wikipedia

Bears in the Trash Dump



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