78ºF

Mama bear bites woman in Longwood neighborhood

Florida wildlife agents attempt to trap bear in The Springs neighborhood

LONGWOOD, Fla. – A mama bear bit a Longwood woman early Tuesday, shortly after she let her dog outside, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The bear attack happened just after midnight in The Springs neighborhood on Wild Holly Lane in Longwood.

"My wife was out walking the dog, just let the dog out and was attacked by a bear," her husband told a 911 dispatcher.

Wildlife officials said the mama bear bit the woman's ankle. 

A report from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office shows she tripped in the garage when she was running from the bears.

"She fell on her head, smashed her head twice," her husband told a 911 dispatcher.

The woman's dog was not injured.

[RELATED: FWC releases bear safety videos]

"The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is thankful the woman's injuries are not life-threatening," the agency said in a statement. "The FWC takes these incidents very seriously and public safety is paramount."

The FWC will canvass the neighborhoods of The Springs in an attempt to trap black bear, the agency said. FWC policy states an attempt to capture any bear that is a risk to public safety should be made.

Agents will also talk to residents and provide information to reduce human-bear conflicts.

"Bears are more active this time of year as they are preparing for winter," the FWC said.

The FWC also recommends the following tips to deter 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, beehives, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
  • Encourage your homeowners association or local government to institute bylaws or ordinances to require trash be kept secure from bears.
  • Feed your pets indoors, and bring in leftover food and dishes after eating outdoors.
  • Clean grills and store them in a secure place.
  • Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.
  • Pick ripe fruit from trees and bushes and remove fallen fruit from the ground.

Floridians should also keep in mind that it's illegal to feed bears.

When driving in rural areas, remember to use caution and slow down particularly at dawn or dusk. This will reduce the risk of fatally striking a bear, which happens about 240 times a year across Florida.

Anyone having conflicts with bears can contact one of FWC's regional offices by clicking here. To report a threatening bear or someone who is intentionally feeding or harming the animals, call FWC's wildlife alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC.


About the Author: