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Florida bear attack may be a provoked 'bear incident'

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A recent Florida bear attack victim was mauled so badly that her age was not identifiable because of the blood. Yet, according to a December 4 report by, Florida Fish and Wildlife are not calling this a bear attack yet because they don't know if the bear was provoked.

Susan Chalfant was walking her dogs when she was attacked and the two small dogs evidently could constitute a reasonable defense for a bear mauling someone. The "bear incident," as it is being referred to, has placed the 54-year-old Longwood resident in the hospital. She has not yet even been able to talk to authorities.

Traps are being set to attempt to capture the bear culprit, but only one small female yearling has been captured, weighing no more than 100 pounds, the size of an average Labrador retriever.

Residents in the area have made a record number of complaints that they feel have not adequately been addressed by authorities. One neighbor captured a very familiar bear on home video around 6 hours after Chalfant was attacked. WFTV in Orlando reports that Christopher Thorpe had reported this same trash-marauding bear to authorities complete with hours of video footage. It would not leave, and it has now become aggressive.

Seminole County residents have made 200 bear calls to FWC in this year alone. The bear population in the area is protected despite rising numbers. Many have predicted that the situation would eventually escalate to serious bear attacks.

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