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Longwood Woman Attacked by Bear While Walking Her Dogs

December 3, 2013 | WMFE - Florida wildlife officials spent Tuesday investigating a Longwood neighborhood after a bear attacked a woman Monday night.

54-year-old Susan Chalfant was walking her dogs through the neighborhood off Markham Woods Road when the bear attacked. Chalfant suffered serious injuries before she escaped and ran to the home of a neighbor, who called 911.

“A woman, I think, has been mauled by a bear,” the neighbor told the 911 dispatcher in a recording of the call. “She’s bleeding, and she needs immediate help.”

Chalfant was rushed to the hospital. Her dogs were unharmed.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say the area, located about a mile west of Wekiva Springs State Park, is no stranger to bear sightings. But an attack is extremely rare, happening in less than one percent of sightings.

Wildlife officials have set up traps around the neighborhood where the attack took place and they are patrolling the area. They are also offering advice to residents to prevent further incidents, telling people not to leave trash outside and not to hand-feed bears.

 

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