LONGWOOD, Florida – The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) has reported that a 67-year-old woman was attacked by a bear here in Florida.
According to the information from the 911 call, the mother bear lashed out and bit the woman on the ankle. The victim’s husband told the 911 operator, “She fell on her head and smashed her head twice and it bit her on the heel. She’s hurt her head, she’s hit her head.”
While the victim was injured by the bear, she did not sustain any life-threatening injuries and fortunately, no harm was done to the dog.
At this time the FWC is encouraging Seminole County area residents to keep all pets indoors or in bear-resistant enclosures. They also say to lock vehicle doors, keep garage doors closed at all times and be aware of your surroundings when outside.
The FWC is taking this incident extremely seriously. Since the altercation, they are canvassing the neighborhoods of The Springs and reportedly a trapping effort is underway. They are informing residents in the area what to do if they do encounter a bear, and how to reduce human-bear conflicts.
The Commission says bears are more active this time of year as they prepare for winter. Below are the recommendations from the FWC on tips for avoiding bears:
- Secure household garbage in a sturdy shed garage or a wildlife-resistant container.
- Put household garbage out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before.
- Secure commercial garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters.
- Protect gardens, bee yards, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
- Encourage your homeowner’s association or local government to institute ordinances to require trash be secured from bears.
- Feed pets indoors or bring the dishes in after feeding.
- Clean grills and store them in a secure place.
- Pick ripe fruit from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground.
- Remove wildlife and bird feeders or make them bear-resistant.
Remember it is always best to avoid all contact with a wild animal, especially a bear. It is illegal in the state of Florida to intentionally feed bears. Don’t intentionally leave out food or garbage that could possibly attract bears and cause human-bear conflicts.
FWC asks that if you see (or suspect) someone is feeding or attracting bears, to call their FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
By Marc Charles for Money Talk Radio via Rich Fields at Q105