Dog dies after attack from 'bear gone bad' in Seminole County

FWC works to trap animal responsible for recent maulings


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Nearly two weeks after a black bear attack in the garage of a Seminole County home, a 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix has died as a result of injuries sustained during the mauling.

Reese's suffered seven puncture wounds, lacerations, torn muscles, a dislocated tail and a sacrum injury after the attack on April 22. Owner Roxane Mann said he died Saturday evening.

"We were so lucky to have had Reese's for the time we did. He was only 4 years old. Boy did we love our sweet boy," Roxane Mann wrote in a Facebook post.

[READ: How to protect your pet from wildlife]

Roxane and Rick Mann said the attack all started when the alarm at their home at Estates at Spring Landing Subdivsion in Longwood started to sound, so they opened their garage door for a few minutes just in case someone had broken into the home.

When Rick Mann realized there was no threat, he opened the door and allowed Reese's to go into the garage, thinking his wife had just gotten home. Instead, the dog rushed toward a sow and her two yearlings that were rummaging through a refrigerator in the garage.

Reese's barked at the animals and in return, the mother bear lunged at the small dog.

"I tried my best to distract her, to throw things at her, to release the dog. Usually you want to be as big as you can, as loud as you can, be a whistle, a horn," Rick Mann said. "That's what I was doing and she started to leave ... then she turned back around and looked at my dog, who was laying there at that point, and decided she was going to come back and attack again."

[READ: 'Bear gone bad' attacks dogs in Seminole County neighborhood]

The burly bear refused to retreat until Rick Mann swung a vacuum cleaner at her.

Roxane Mann described the animal that attacked her dog as a "bear gone bad" that's responsible for mauling at least two other dogs in the neighborhood.

"She is very dangerous, we have seen so many bears living here 20 years and they are wonderful. I mean, we stay away from them. You want them to be afraid of you and this one is not afraid to the point of aggression, and we don't want this to happen to anybody, a person," she said.

Reese's had been recovering from the attack, so his death was unexpected.

"He was doing better, this makes no sense and we are so sad," Roxane Mann said.

She added that her beloved dog died in her arms as she was visiting him at the veterinarian's office.

[FWC: Longwood bear strikes again, ravages SUV]

Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they have been working to attempt to trap the bears, but so far they haven't had any luck.

"In order for us to accomplish that, we’re asking that people please try to stay clear of the area. If there’s a lot of unfamiliar sounds and smells associated with additional human and vehicle traffic, it makes our job very difficult, if not impossible," an FWC spokesman said.

There are thousands of bears across Florida, many of which have habitats near residential areas. For tips on how to safely live with bears, click here.

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