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Bear Attack Survivor Speaks Out; First Official Photos of Royal Baby; Baseball Challenges A-Rod

Aired August 20, 2013 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, now to Impact Your World. Actor Rainn Wilson, known for his role as Dwight on "The Office" is using his fame to help educate girls around the world. Check out how.


RAINN WILSON, ACTOR, "THE OFFICE": Hi, there, I'm Rainn Wilson, and together we can make an impact on educating women and girls all around the globe.

Phyllis, my sister? More like my dead great, great grandmother who died of stupidity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have ears, Dwight.

WILSON: When I started getting well known as an actor on "The Office," I got inundated by requests to be a spokesperson or do various things for various charities. And I had an opportunity to explore what was most important to me in my heart and what I felt could make the greatest impact in the world.

The Mona Foundation supports educational initiatives all around the world. About 20 different initiatives in about 15 different countries, including here in the United States. They target women and girls and that's how you transform a community. They're the most at-risk population through most of the developing world. Targeting them to empower them and educate them is really the most crucial thing. Also, they find grassroots educational programs that are already working but are underfunded and come in to bring the support to help those organizations grow and thrive and flourish and move forward.

Join the movement. Impact Your World at


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, it's hard to imagine a 12-year-old girl attacked twice by a black bear and she survives. She's going to be joining us live to tell her story. How did she make it through?

CUOMO: And you like front row seats? Of course you do. Find out what happened when one young lady got a little too close to the action. Ready? Bam, must see moment. Here's a tip, read the back of your ticket and it will tell you, you assume the risk of exactly this happening. See you in a second. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: You've been very quiet about all of the pizza is not fast food talk on the Twitter feed coming our way.


CUOMO: You're plotting.



BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

An amazing story of survival. Seven people have been attacked by bears in five states in just less than a week. Well, one of them is 12-year- old Abby Wetherell. Abby was running in the woods near her grandparent's home in northern Michigan. That's, you know, nothing unusual. But then a black bear attacked her, not once, but twice. Incredibly, Abby survived and she's joining me now, along with her mother. A very thankful mother, relieved mother, I'm sure, Elizabeth.

It's great to see both of you.

Abby, I, of course -


BOLDUAN: Of course, of course.

Abby, first to you. How are you feeling this morning? I think that's what everyone cares about.

ABBY WETHERELL, SURVIVED BEAR ATTACK: I'm feeling OK. Still in a lot of pain, but it will go away soon.

BOLDUAN: It will go away. That's very much a good thing. So kind of walk us through exactly what happened. You were jogging in the woods. You do that often. When did you know that you were in trouble?

A. WETHERELL: I knew I was in trouble when I saw the bear charging after me, because I knew I wasn't going to be able to outrun the bear. And -- because it was far enough from my house and from my house - or my house and my cabin that I couldn't run that fast, that far. But it was just very terrifying, very scary.

BOLDUAN: Of course, it was. And not only did the bear catch up to you and attack you once, the bears went away a little bit and then you tried to run again and it attacked you twice. Do you remember feeling anything or thinking anything in particular when this was happening?

A. WETHERELL: I was thinking, I'm going to die. I'm not going to survive this. This bear's going to kill me. This is it. I'm a goner. And I couldn't really feel it. It was just my whole body was numb and it just really hurt.

BOLDUAN: And I was reading that at one point that you even tried petting the bear to try to calm it down?

A. WETHERELL: Yes. I -- the second time it kind of stopped by me and I was like, good bear. Please, don't hurt me.

BOLDUAN: Oh, my goodness.

A. WETHERELL: But that didn't work.

BOLDUAN: And, Elizabeth, I mean, your daughter really takes this entire experience in stride, but, I mean, she need 100 stitches and suffered some very deep cuts in her thighs, as well as in her back. I mean what were you -- what do you make of this entire experience? Obviously, first and foremost, just relieved that she's OK.

E. WETHERELL: Oh, absolutely. It's one of those -- you never want your children to hurt, and you want to protect them and keep them safe. You know, this is a run that she would do every single day in a place that she's familiar with. And for her to get hurt out there like that, it was absolutely the scariest thing I've ever experienced in my life.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

A. WETHERELL: Me, too.

BOLDUAN: I can -- that's for sure. And, Abby, you've played -- the thing that seemed to kind of save you in the end was, you ended up playing dead. What made you think to do that in such an outrageous, you know - in such an outrageous situation?

A. WETHERELL: I thought I had nothing else to lose. I mean it might save my life, so why not do it? So that's what I did. And the bear ran away and then looked back and then ran away more and then looked back. Yes, and he just kept looking back at me. I'm like, I'm thinking, oh, my gosh, this bear is going to come back and kill me. And then it just ran away. So, that was good.

BOLDUAN: And so how did you end up -- the bear ended up going away. Did you -- were you able to get up and make it back to the cabin, make it back to your family? How did it all end then?

A. WETHERELL: I got up and I started running to my house, which wasn't far. And then I saw one of my neighbor - one of my neighbors. Her name is Laura. And when I saw her face, I just thought, everything is going to be fine. Everything is going to be OK. I'm going to live. So it was all thanks to her.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean your wounds are healing. You've got amazing humor and perspective on this entire thing. Are you going to be running in the woods any time soon?

A. WETHERELL: Not alone.

BOLDUAN: Yes. A. WETHERELL: But I'll run on my road probably, yes.

BOLDUAN: And, Elizabeth, what are the lessons - what are the lessons learned here, I guess, or what are the lessons you're trying to teach Elizabeth and your other daughter?

E. WETHERELL: Well, the lesson for Abby would be, you know, just I guess next time she's not running by herself. You know I decided maybe I needed to pick up some jogging. You know, I could lose a few pounds, so it wouldn't be a bad thing. And just to keep the - you know, know where they're going at all times and just to really be careful and maybe take a phone with them when they run, something to - you know, if something does happen they can get help quickly.

BOLDUAN: Well, Abby, you look fabulous and we're so happy that you're able to be here and tell us your story.

A. WETHERELL: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you guys both for waking up early and speaking with us. And what a story you have to tell now. Have a good day.

E. WETHERELL: Yes, she does.

A. WETHERELL: Thank you. You, too.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Amazing.

CUOMO: A very lucky kid.


CUOMO: A very lucky kid.

And, you know, what are you going to do, you can't do anything differently. She wants to run in the woods, you run in the woods.

BOLDUAN: That's the thing, it's not like she asked for a bear to come after her.

PEREIRA: Well, and usually they're -- black bears -- and I believe this was a black bear, was it not?

BOLDUAN: It was a black bear. And it is a little counterintuitive -


BOLDUAN: The little I know about bears. But I was reading up on it. It's a little counterintuitive of what -- how you should react if you can think about it when a black bear comes upon you. This is not the type of bear that you play dead for.

PEREIRA: Right, you run.

BOLDUAN: You actually run away -- you walk away slowly. You're not supposed to run. But - and you're supposed to try to intimidate the bear.


BOLDUAN: But, I mean, like I would know how I would react in such an extraordinary situation.

PEREIRA: But it's also counterintuitive to everything that I learned growing up, is that they're generally more afraid of us than we are of them. This one aggressively pursued her, maybe because she was running? I mean maybe that -- she seemed like prey or something.


CUOMO: Yes, here's what you do, all that category -

PEREIRA: What a horrifying situation.

BOLDUAN: Trying to jog through the woods.

CUOMO: That's just a suggestion.

BOLDUAN: Well, that's exactly -

CUOMO: You know, it's not like they've sat down at some bear summit and the bears have said, look, if you do this, we're not going to eat you.

PEREIRA: Oh, there's no bear summit?

CUOMO: But, you know, you check - you check your trails -

BOLDUAN: That sounds cute (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: And you can - you know, you can carry bear spray -


CUOMO: You know, if you're going to run in those situations, a lot of naturalists do when they're running.


CUOMO: But the truth is, you got to just hope on luck. And she got a lot of luck, this girl. More than most.


BOLDUAN: How sweet is that, that she tried to pet the bear at one point to try to calm it down? I mean what a sweet girl.

CUOMO: She had presence of mind to do that -

BOLDUAN: No kidding.

CUOMO: And I guarantee you, her parents, you know you always love your kids, but you love them like 105 percent when you know they've gotten lucky and that you're lucky to still have them.


CUOMO: So hopefully, the silver lining is, that family's closer together than ever.

BOLDUAN: Sweet girl.

CUOMO: Oh, and not a bad segue in terms of families getting closer together.

PEREIRA: Not a bad one.

CUOMO: The adorable first photos of Prince George have been released. This is a family very close together. Close as they've ever been. The newest British royal is only four weeks old, but he's already making quite an impression in these two new photos of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. CNN Royal correspondent Max Foster joining now with more, including a little hate for the photographer there.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, this was a big break in tradition. This was not a formal photo shoot. These weren't professional photographs. These were taken by some family member.


FOSTER (voice-over): A picture perfect family, William, Kate, and little Prince George, born less than a month ago. The first official photos of the royal bundle of joy released on Monday by Kensington Palace. Contrary to formal royal baby portraits of the past, taken by professional photographers, these family photos were snapped by the baby's grandfather, Michael Middleton, in the backyard garden of the Middleton family home in Bucklebury.

CARLOS GREER, WRITER FOR "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: They've been going about it in a much more casual way that we're not used to seeing from the royals.

FOSTER: The proud parents look relaxed. Kate beaming in a purple dress, while George sleeps comfortably, swaddled in her arms. A luxury occurrence according to Prince William.

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: He's growing quite quickly, actually, but he's a little fighter. He kind of wriggles around quite a lot and he doesn't want to go to sleep that much.

FOSTER: In one photo, the family's four-legged friends join the fun, Tilly, the Middleton family retriever, and Lupo, the couple's cocker spaniel, who now has to share the attention of the doting parents.

PRINCE WILLIAM: He's been slobbering, sort of, around the house a bit, so he's - he's perfectly happy.

FOSTER: But the first official photos weren't without a little controversy. Granddad's experience behind the lens is coming under question. The U.K. press criticizing the quality of the historic pictures, claiming the photos are very flat and there's not a great deal of contrast to them. And the parents are also out of focus in both pictures.

GREER: Prince William and Kate, they very much try to live a very normal life. This is what we do. People take their own photos.


FOSTER: So the question is, charming or inappropriate?


BOLDUAN: Let it linger. I think it's charming.

PEREIRA: I do, too.

CUOMO: Max doesn't.


CUOMO: He gave it away in the question, charming or inappropriate?

FOSTER: I think they are charming, it's just a question that they are historic photos and you're always going to go back to these sort of quite poor quality ones, but they were taken by Mr. Middleton.

CUOMO: There will be more.

PEREIRA: There will be.

CUOMO: That's what parents do, Max, as we both know, they take pictures of their kids.

FOSTER: I know. They've got a lot more to come, I'm sure.

BOLDUAN: There will be.

All right, Max, thanks so much.

And of course, we want to remind you, you do not want to miss CNN's special this September, "PRINCE WILLIAM'S PASSION: NEW FATHER, NEW HOPE". That's coming up.

All right, back here to New York, the war of words is heating up between Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball officials challenge the Yankee slugger to waive confidentiality and allow drug evidence to go public. Well, Rodriguez faces a possible 211-game suspension for the alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.

Now he's firing back at both MLB and his own team. CNN's Jason Carroll sat down with Rodriguez's attorney Monday.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The drama playing out on the field no match for the battle raging off the field. JOE TACOPINA, RODRIGUEZ ATTORNEY: Both the Yankees and MLB never want Alex Rodriguez on the baseball field again.

CARROLL: Joe Tacopina, Alex Rodriguez ' attorney says Major League Baseball and the Yankees have been trying to sabotage Rodriguez. He points to this MRI and a written diagnosis provided to CNN from October of last year which he says points to a tear in Rodriguez' left hip. Despite that tear, he says Rodriguez was cleared to play.

TACOPINA: Now, the amazing part of that is that was never shared with Alex Rodriguez at the time. CARROLL: Major League Baseball responded by saying, Mr. Tacopina continues to avoid the only relevant question, "Did Rodriguez use performance-enhancing drugs? The rest of what is says is to distract people from the real issues."

(on camera): Why is the Rodriguez team not being as strong in coming out and saying look, he did not use performance-enhancing drugs?

TACOPINA: You understand where some of these lawyers are. We're in the midst of some of the best lawyers in New York City.

CARROLL: As an attorney, you know it's a very simple statement. My client did not use performance-enhancing drugs.

TACOPINA: Because there is a confidentiality clause.

CARROLL (voice-over): There is confidentiality agreement in place while Rodriguez appeals his 211-game suspension. In a letter to Tacopina, Major League Baseball says they're willing to, quote, "waive those provisions" of the confidentiality clause, saying Tacopina is free speak about information regarding Rodriguez' alleged PED use. MLB says it has evidence Rodriguez used PEDs allegedly provided by the former anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.

(on camera): What can you tell us what relationship, if any, that Rodriguez had with Biogenesis?

TACOPINA: Clearly there was a relationship.

CARROLL: What kind of relationship?

TACOPINA: A consulting relationship.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Jason. Jason's asking all the right questions. It's just no one is giving answers right now.

CUOMO: They'll come. It's just a matter of time.

All right so that's bad stuff in sports.

So you know what that means, time for "The Good Stuff". Today's edition, a miracle reunion between a dog and her owner that wouldn't have been possible were it not for the power of "The Good Stuff".

Jen Koczan from Indiana loved her beloved Rottweiler Sasha when she was stolen five years ago -- five years ago.


CUOMO: Jen thought she'd of course never see her again, but then an apparent miracle. After five years Sasha popped up in a shelter thousands of miles away in Phoenix, Arizona. Ok workers there got Jen's number from Sasha's microchip and called her.


JEN KOCZAN, RECOVERED STOLEN DOG AFTER FIVE YEARS: I never thought I was ever going to see her again, you know, I thought about her all the time, I always wondered about her, I wondered what happened to her. You know I still have all of her pictures, because she was part of our family. I don't know where she's been or who she's been with, or what she's been through. I just hope that whoever had her gave her a good life.


CUOMO: Doggies are family in Indiana and this hurt for sure. And that could be the good stuff right there, right? The story is over -- wrong.

Right after the shelter told Jen they found Sasha, they told her they would euthanize the dog if Jen couldn't get all the way from Indiana to Phoenix in just a couple of days. Well Jen of course had no way to make the trip, let alone on that amount of time, so that's when volunteers from the Kindred Hearts Transportation Connection stepped in. They're an organization made just for this purpose.

BOLDUAN: Really?

CUOMO: To help reclaim dogs when they are too far away for you to get to them. They picked up Sasha in time and volunteers then drove Sasha as far as they could go, a little piece of the journey at a time, all the way back to Indiana. In all, it took 26 volunteers two weeks to get Sasha back to a grateful Jen. Take a look.


STACI GOVEIA, KINDRED HEARTS TRANSPORTATION CONNECTION: It's a moment like this that we do what we do. It's just seeing the dogs get back to their owners. It's great.



CUOMO: Staci Goveia there, one of the members of the organization, and they are made of volunteers. They are always looking for more drivers. So if you're willing and able, check out Kindred Hearts Transportation Connection on Facebook.

BOLDUAN: That's incredibly powerful.

CUOMO: That is the good stuff, ladies and gentlemen right there.

BOLDUAN: How many people came together to help out?

CUOMO: 26 over two weeks to reunite Sasha with Jen and her family.

PEREIRA: Well done team, well done.

BOLDUAN: That's five years later, I can't imagine.

CUOMO: Right what are the chances?

BOLDUAN: I remember as a kid we lost a dog, never seen it again. But I mean like --

PEREIRA: Think about forgetting that dog --

CUOMO: Good argument for the microchip, by the way. A lot of people say I don't want to do that to the dog.

BOLDUAN: How did that dog end up in Phoenix? Wow. Indiana is much better.

CUOMO: It's true. Although you know and it's so good that all those people worked together to get her back.

The story comes from you, please contact us on Twitter, Facebook, go to our Web site. Let us keep telling you the good news, because the stories come from you.

BOLDUAN: That's absolutely right.

And coming up next on NEW DAY, see the ball, hit the ball, and then look out.

CUOMO: Cat-like reflexes -- or not.

BOLDUAN: You have to see what happens next. It's a must-see moment.


PEREIRA: All right. Put me in coach. Welcome back to NEW DAY. Another "Must See Moment" for you.

Sibling shenanigans, we all have siblings. We've all shenaniganized. A sister so thoughtful she tapes records her brother's baseball game. How does he repay her? Take a look at this. That's right. Foul ball. Obviously, that wasn't on purpose, but I think the brother owes sister a new phone.

BOLDUAN: That was only on an iPhone? Oh that hit her real hard.

PEREIRA: Oh and it hit her right, and hopefully she had it away from her face. She might also maybe -- might want to get batting lessons.

BOLDUAN: Batting lessons and call the plastic surgeon.

PEREIRA: Right. And apologize to sister.

CUOMO: What, why?

PEREIRA: Because. It is like he feels bad.

BOLDUAN: I'm always amazed how often that actually -- how often that actually happens. It seems impossible. I can't -- well this is not about me but I couldn't hit the ball where I wanted it to even if I tried, let alone do this.

PEREIRA: Did you say move out of the way?

CUOMO: No not to you. I'm saying you know not to you -- beat me down on my own couch. But you know when you do it. It says on the back of your ticket, "assumption of risk", this kind of stuff can happen it's just bad luck.


CUOMO: But apologize, why does it always have to be the brother's fault?

PEREIRA: Because that's not tea-ball. But I don't think --


BOLDUAN: And arguably she could get a better angle if he's batting.

CUOMO: Hopefully she's ok, by the way.

PEREIRA: Yes. We are very concerned for her.

CUOMO: Yes, you want to make sure. That can really hurt -- really can hurt.

PEREIRA: Have you ever been hit?

CUOMO: I have been hit with baseballs and other things, but I also hurt just when you try to catch it.

BOLDUAN: Yes, you should use a glove.

CUOMO: Let alone with your face. So that was not a good situation. But hopefully, she's ok and she now has leverage over her brother for the rest of their lives.

BOLDUAN: There's the silver lining in it.

CUOMO: for her. For him, it's "Oh, why didn't I let that pitch go?"

We're going to take a break. We'll see you right after it.

PEREIRA: You look comfortable.


CUOMO: Oh, "The Killers". Good way to end the day here.

Coming up tomorrow, we have an exclusive one-on-one interview with the founder of Facebook, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg right here on NEW DAY. You will not want to miss it.

Thank you, everybody, for weighing in to make the point that we all know to be obviously now especially that pizza is not fast food.

May be junk food, depending on how it's made.

BOLDUAN: We are still fighting this out. It will continue for the rest of the day -- pizza, fast food or not?

CUOMO: Some don't agree, but most of you do. Very nice.

For NEW DAY -- yes, I'm going to get a big punch in the ribs as soon as this show is over. I should be toughing up now.

That's it for NEW DAY. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now. Hey, Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, pizza is the food of the gods.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Fast food? You're welcome.

CUOMO: Wow, Carol Costello said it.

COSTELLO: Have a great day, guys. "NEWSROOM" starts now.