Man injured in bear encounter in Seminole County neighborhood

Incident happened in the Alaqua Lakes neighborhood

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A man suffered a head injury after falling during an encounter with a bear in the Alaqua Lakes neighborhood on Tuesday evening, according to Seminole County Fire Rescue.

Firefighters said they received a call from the man who said he was attacked by the bear while walking his small dog around 10:14 p.m.

According to a news release, when fire rescue arrived, they saw a bear and two cubs nearby.

The man told first responders he fell back and hit his head after he was attacked by the bear, and when he woke up, his dog was missing.

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Deputies said when they arrived at the scene, the man was bleeding profusely. It was ultimately determined that the man’s injuries were from his fall and not from the bear, according to the release.

A witness told deputies they saw the man walking his dog on Winding Pine Trail when she observed a large bear that was possibly accompanied by a cub.

The woman said the bear was provoked by the dog barking, adding that she heard the dog yelp, possibly in pain or fear.

The dog was treated and is expected to be OK.

Two 911 calls were released Thursday from Seminole County Fire Rescue as people went to help the injured man.

“He’s lying on the ground. It looks like he’s bleeding in the back of the head,” the caller said as he waited with the man until first responders arrived.

Another caller advised the bear was still in the area.

Official with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they also responded to the incident and that it is still under investigation.

They released the following statement that read in part:

“Contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) if you feel threatened by a bear; observe a sick, injured, dead or orphaned bear; or to report someone who is either harming bears or intentionally feeding them. To learn more about bears and how to avoid conflicts with them, visit or”


Neighbors and fire crews canvassed the area, but were unable to find the man’s dog, deputies said.

FWC shared the following tips for what residents can do to prevent bear attacks in the future:

  • Never feed or approach bears
  • Secure food and garbage
  • Remove or secure bird and wildlife feeders
  • Never leave pet food outdoors
  • Clean and store grills
  • Alert neighbors to bear activity

“The most important thing people can do to help these bears is to leave them alone,” FWC Bear Management Program Coordinator Mike Orlando said. “Give them plenty of space and let them move along on their own.”

Florida residents who are experiencing issues with local bears can contact FWC by heading to the agency’s website here and clicking “Contact Regional Offices” to find the phone number for their region.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.