A Florida bear attack gained national attention, as 54-year-old Susan Chalfant managed to escape. Although she was seriously injured, Chalfant got away from the bear and called for help. The attack prompted wildlife officials to set traps in and around the Wingfield North gated community.
On Monday evening, Chalfant was walking her dogs through the Longwood neighborhood. At around 8 pm, the dogs displayed signs of agitation and ran back toward their home. The woman’s family said she did not notice the bear until she was attacked.
A neighbor, identified as Richard, went outside when he heard the commotion. As reported by WESH News, Chalfant was covered in blood. Despite her severe injuries, she told Richard to call 911. She also asked him to find her dogs, as she feared they were killed by the bear.
When paramedics arrived, they found Chalfant with severe injuries to her face and head. She is currently being treated at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Wildlife officials said the Florida bear attack was one of the most serious ever recorded in the state.
Richard eventually looked for and found the woman’s two dogs. They are both uninjured and were safely returned to her home.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that a bear was captured and euthanized in the neighborhood where the woman was attacked. FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley said the bear was euthanized because “the incident resulted in serious injuries.” Wiley said the FWC’s primary concern is safety.
Another bear, which was captured on Tuesday evening, is currently housed in a rehabilitation center. The Orlando Sentinel reports the younger bear did not match the description provided by Chalfant.
The Longwood neighborhood is notorious for black bear sightings. Wiley said he believes the town has come to “a point where [they] need more” hunters and trappers to control the dangerous animals.
Although the Florida bear attack was rare, officials want to prevent similar incidents in the future.
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