Wildlife officers share safety advice after bear attacks trail runner

Man running on woodland trail
The man was attacked while running in the woods (Image credit: Getty)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has shared important advice for staying safe in the wilderness after a trail runner was attacked by a black bear in Whatcom County on August 3.

The runner, a man who hasn't been named, was jogging along a wooded trail when he encountered the animal. In a statement, WDFW stated that the man "did everything right during the incident", but sustained multiple injuries to his hands and feet.

The man is now being treated at a local hospital. “We are extremely thankful that the victim is recovering and receiving medical care from this unfortunate encounter,” said WDFW Police North Puget Sound Captain Jennifer Maurstad.

"Wild animal encounters are unpredictable but, in most cases, they wish to avoid conflict as much as we do," Maurstad added.

Stay safe in bear country

If you find yourself in close quarters with a bear, WDFW advises you to stand up and wave your arms above your head to identify yourself as human, while backing away (not running) and speaking in a low voice. Our guide what to do if you meet a bear gives more advice, and tips on how to handle encounters with different types of bear.

WDFW advises keeping pets on a leash while hiking, making noise, and being aware of your surroundings to avoid starting a bear. Visitors exploring Washington's woodlands are also advised to carry bear spray (see our guide to carrying and using bear spray for detailed instructions).

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.