Black bears are very prevalent in the central Florida area. In fact, the creates are so prevalent some have nicknamed Orlando “Bearlando.” According to a channel 9 news report Monday, a woman recently attacked by a bear in the area shared her ordeal on national TV this morning.
Terri Frana of Lake Mary was worried for her children, ages 10 and 11, Saturday night when she saw five bears walking towards her garage, where the children had recently been. One of the bears stood up, knocked Frana down and began to maul her. The bear clamped down on her head and started to drag her to the woods, but she was able to escape and run inside. She has 30 staples and 10 stitches in her head, plus lacerations and claw marks on her body.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials have killed five bears. One was shot and the other four were tranquilized and then euthanized. There is no way of knowing if any of these bears are the one who attacked Frana, who was released from the hospital the day after the attack. While DNA testing was done, the results won’t be in for months and may be inconclusive.
Patrick Whalen of MPlus Property Services in Orlando is outraged by how this case has been handled. “This was a complete overreaction by Florida Fish and Wildlife. They kill five bears on suspicion of smacking this woman in the head. That’s one for doing it and four others for wanting to. Had she closed her garage, like most people in Lake Mary who live in harmony with the bears do, this would not have happened.”
Central Florida residents should call the wildlife alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) to report any aggressive or threatening bear activity. It is unusual for bears to attack humans. The warmer weather means bears are leaving their dens and may wander into residential areas.