LAKE MARY, Fla. – Florida wildlife officials said on Tuesday they killed a seventh bear, an adult female bear, hours after announcing the capturing and euthanization of a 250-pound male bear overnight.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials didn't say that they have identified the bear that attacked Terri Frana Saturday night at her home at 1900 Brackenhurst Place in the Carisbrooke subdivision, which backs up to the Wekiva Wildlife preserve.
She received 30 staples and 10 stitches in her head after a 200-pound bear mauled her.
Authorities on Tuesday also released the 911 calls from the attack on Frana.
"She came in screaming, she said a bear attacked her," the caller told dispatchers.
FWC said although they are testing the bears for DNA, the tests may come back inconclusive and they may never find the exact bear that attacked Frana.
FWC said that the seven bears appeared dangerous and threatening and didn't appear to be afraid of humans.
FWC said as with the other bears, the FWC removed the bear from the neighborhood and it showed signs of being highly habituated to people.
"We yelled at him, clapped our hands at them, and yelled bad bear- they kept approaching us," said Greg Workman of Florida Fish and Wildlife.
Sunday evening, an FWC officer shot a bear after they say it showed dangerous behavior toward officers at the scene. The FWC says the bear approached biologists at close range and showed no fear even after an officer yelled at it. Because of its behavior, the officer determined that the bear was dangerous.
Wildlife officials say other bears appear to be accustomed to people in the area, including four that were captured and put down. The fifth bear was captured Monday morning.
The FWC says officers spotted two other bears in the area that ran away at the sight of humans. This is typical wild bear behavior and no action was necessary with those bears, officials said.
"The fact that we have come across so many bears with so little fear of humans indicates that these bears are highly habituated and are regularly receiving food from people," said Dave Telesco, the FWC's Bear Program coordinator. "Our staff is dedicated to wildlife conservation. Having to put down these bears is a very difficult decision, but it's the right decision to ensure public safety. Unfortunately, the saying is true: ‘a fed bear is a dead bear.'"
Frana's husband, Frank Frana, said his wife suffered bite wounds to her head, arms, shoulder and upper thigh and had lacerations all over her body.
"But she's fine," Frank Frana said. "She's still pretty traumatized from it all, but it's unbelievable she's fine."
Frank Frana said his wife encountered the bears, which had pulled some trash cans out of the family's garage, while she was checking on her children, who were playing at a neighbor's home.
He said there were five bears rummaging through the trash when one of them stood up and attacked her.
"(My wife) was able to eventually break away and run into the house. She collapsed on the floor and my oldest son ... called 911," Frank Frana said. "It was a close call."
The FWC on Monday will continue to check traps in the area and warning families nearby.
FWC said if you encounter a bear at close range speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice while backing up slowly toward a secure area. Be sure you are leaving the bear a clear escape route. Stop and hold your ground if your movement away seems to irritate instead of calm the bear. Do not run or play dead. If a black bear attacks you, fight back aggressively.
The FWC also reminded residents to be aware of their surroundings and always supervise pets and children while outdoors. Residents should contact the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC to report any threatening bear activity.
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