9:59 AM EDT, August 19, 2013
The scars on a brave girl's face tell her remarkable survival story better than words ever could.
Twelve-year-old Abigail Wetherell was jogging in the woods near her grandparents' home in Cadillac, Michigan, when she was attacked by a 200-pound black bear.
"All of a sudden, I see this bear. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, there is this bear in front of me.' It got me and took me down to the ground and then it started clawing me," she said.
She got up and ran for her life and that's when the bear knocked her down and began mauling her a second time. Then, Abigail did something you some have trouble believing.
"Even though the bear was on me, I still thought I should pet it," she said.
She actually pet the bear, as if he were a dog.
"I was petting it, 'Please do not hurt me again. I will be your friend, don't hurt me.' I thought I should just play dead. Then it just went away. I sat there and thought, 'It is gone now, I am safe,'" she said.
Bleeding and in severe pain, Abigail managed to stagger to her feet and run to her grandparents house.
Her father, Chris, said, "It was hard for me to believe it was a bear."
Abigail spent three nights in the hospital and needed more than 100 stitches to repair severe gashes on her thighs and back from the bear's powerful claws.
The family has set bear traps around their house in case he comes back. Meanwhile, Abigail is on the road to recovery thanks to some pretty quick thinking that saved her life.