This past Saturday Terri Frana went out to her garage to get a couple bikes out for her kids so they could ride down the street to their neighbors. As soon as the kids had left the driveway two black bears appeared. Terri walked to her patio area where 5 bears were eating from her garbage can. The bears were of various sizes!
The biggest bear quickly stood on its hind legs and grabbed Terri by her head and started mauling her. ”The powerful bear started dragging her toward the woods,” said Frank Frana her husband. Somehow she broke free and made it back to her house where she collapsed on the living room floor! Her son found her and made a frantic call to 911. The bears had left the area by the time the ambulance arrived to transport her to a local hospital. Terri had at least three (3) bite wounds and several scratches and cuts. She required 40 stitches on her head alone! Terri was released from the hospital the next day and is recuperating at home.
The Seminole County Sheriffs Office told ABC news that the bear were of various sizes, and it no doubt was a mother bear that attacked Mrs. Frana. Wildlife officials searched the area throughout the night and have placed some baited live traps in the area.
This attack happened about 10 miles from where 54 year old Susan Chalfant was mauled by a black bear while walking her dog last December. According to the Department of Natural Resources there has been an increase of bear sightings in the area, but attacks on humans are unusual! Tell that to the most recent victims, in a state where the bear population numbers are supposed to be minimal at best.
Black bear numbers in Florida have made a remarkable recovery since 1970 when only 300 bear were left in the wilds. Today it is estimated that nearly 3500 bears roam six “home” habitat areas of the state. There is no open bear hunting season in Florida and the bears are becoming more habituated to humans and the food sources around their homes. Bears are opportunistic and will eat bird seed, dog food, garbage from unsecured trash cans, and anything else that is accessible and edible! The human population in Florida is ever encroaching on the black bears territory, so you can bet it’s only a matter of time before a bear makes it into the safety of the woods with a human victim in tow. An adult stands a pretty good chance to fend off an attack, but a child has no chance against even the smallest of black bears. Scary thought indeed!