Only 10 miles from where another Florida woman was attacked by a black bear last year, a 45-year-old Seminole woman was attacked by as many as five black bears that were rummaging through her garbage for food.
Terri Frana, who lives in an upscale home in Lake Mary, had went to her garage to fetch bicycles for her children to ride before she was attacked, according to her husband, Frank Frana.
As soon as her children rode off on the bikes Mrs. Frana spotted two bears in the driveway. She retreated to the patio where she found five more bears foraging through a scattering of refuse they had removed from garbage cans.
"The bear got up on [its] hind legs and started to maul her, opened its jaws and put her head in the mouth and dragged her towards the woods," Frank Frana said. "Somehow she was able to pull herself out."
After managing to pull her head out of the mouth of a mama bear, Frana managed to reach the safety of the house and collapsed in the living room. Her son immediately called 911 upon finding her and she was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for at least three bear bites to her head and face as well as cuts inflicted by bear claws to her torso, arms and legs. Frana needed 40 stitches just to close wounds on her face and head.
"The bears were various sizes so we think it's probably cubs of different maturity and perhaps a mama bear," the Seminole County Sheriff's Office told ABC News.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said there was at least one bear involved in the attack but couldn't corroborate the report that there had been five bears.
Frana was released from the hospital early Sunday and was reportedly recovering at home. Wildlife officials set traps in the area and searched for them throughout the night.
Last December, 54-year-old Susan Chalfant was mauled by a black bear while taking her dogs for a walk in a Seminole County community about 10 miles away.
Bear attacks, considered rare in Florida, have increased in Seminole County as bear habitats are increasingly bordered by suburban sprawl. Florida, because of its climate and beaches is a major destination state, which means there will be more intermingling between bears and humans as Florida’s population continues to increase.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, it is best to stand your ground when confronted by a black bear. Moreover, bears are more apt to attack if they sense their cubs are in danger.