LONGWOOD, Fla. – A 200-pound bear believed to be involved in the attack of a 54-year-old woman was captured in a Longwood neighborhood on Wednesday night, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
FWC said the trapped female bear "closely fits the description" of the animal that was involved in incident that injured Susan Chalfant while she was walking her dogs Monday night.
The bear has been euthanized because of the location of where it was trapped and because it was caught within 48 hours of the attack, officials said. Samples from the bear will be sent in for testing and a necropsy will be completed. Results will be returned by next week, FWC said.
"We can't confirm absolutely, positively that this is the bear," said FWC official Karen Parker at a news conference, adding that FWC biologist believe that is the bear in the attack and did euthanize the bear. "I understand people are going to be upset with our decision, but public safety comes first."
FWC said they couldn't relocate the bear in the meantime because, "if we relocated her, and it turned out that she was the bear that was involved in the incident, we basically just put a problem bear into another persons area."
FWC said the bear could be the mother of the cub that was captured in the same trap on Tuesday.
The bear cub captured Tuesday night was found to not fit the description of the bear involved in Chalfant's attack and is being housed at a Crystal River rehabilitation center, according to FWC.
FWC said that bear cub was determined not to be the bear in the attack because of her foot-size.
Chalfant was mauled and possibly bitten Monday night while she was walking two small dogs on English Ivy Court. Chalfant was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with serious facial injuries and remains hospitalized.
FWC investigators said they still haven't talked to Chalfant as of Thursday afternoon. Her condition is not clear.
For more information about Florida black bears and how to deal with them, visit the FWC website.