A Florida bear attack has people asking what they should do if confronted or attacked.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a Florida woman living in Longwood was seriously injured in a bear attack.
The woman, identified as 54-year-old Susan Chalfant, was walking her dogs in Longwood when she was wounded. The bear mauled her face, and she had to have emergency surgery. Authorities are still on the lookout for the dangerous animal.
But Florida Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Karen Parker said they aren’t quite ready to label it a Florida bear attack quite yet:
“We’re calling it a bear incident simply because we simply don’t know what happened. Bears are very, very elusive. They’re pretty much more afraid of you than you are of them, and normally when they see a human and they’ve not been fed and have not been habituated — they’re going to run away. They don’t want to encounter us any more than we want to encounter them.”
So how do you survive a Florida bear attack? Expert John Beecham has studied them for more than 40 years, and he pointed out that bears are more likely to be out after dark. At this time of the year, they’re also foraging for food before going into hibernation in their den so they’re more likely to go after people’s garbage (so taking a stroll before trash day is a bad idea).
If you do walk at night make sure to have a flashlight, and if you’re especially worried, stores like Walmart sell bear spray and noise makers. Also, take a buddy along on your night walks.
And this “buddy” shouldn’t just be your dogs. Bears consider them mortal enemies, and they will likely defend themselves against aggressive canines, which will just escalate the situation.
Now if you happen to spot a bear from afar, move away quickly. If you’re spotted and it goes up on hind legs, this isn’t necessarily an aggressive posture. Stand your ground and speak to it in a firm voice. Start to back off slowly, and if it advances, shout at it, raise your arms, and make yourself appear formidable even though you’re quivering in your boots.
But don’t play dead! The only time that strategy is recommended is if a startled bear has already pounced on you. In that case, if you play dead the bear “might” consider the threat to be gone and run away. But if the bear continues to attack the only option is to fight back. Running away isn’t really an option since it would consider you prey.
Are you concerned about another Florida bear attack?