Black Bear Attacks Florida Woman Walking Her Dog

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A black bear attacked a Central Florida woman walking her dog last Thursday in her driveway, but she did not suffer life-threatening injuries. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission also reported that the woman’s dog did not receive serious injuries.

The woman called 911 to report on the DeBary attack. According to Outdoor Life, she suffered injuries to her hand, face, and back while her dog ran off. TV reports said she sustained a concussion and would later go to the hospital. DeBary is a 30-minute drive north of Orlando. 

Wildlife officials estimate 4,050 black bears are living in Florida. That breed is the only species of bear found in Florida.

Woman Attacked on Dog Walk

Florida Wildlife Commission agents and Volusia County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene around 9 p.m. Emergency personnel also arrived and treated the woman. The dog had also returned to the woman, and authorities determined it did not have serious injuries.

Fox-35, a TV news outlet in Orlando, released a recording of the woman’s 911 call. According to WESH, the woman said she was “tackled” by the animal. She later identified herself as Aydee and said neighbors saved her. 

“I took off running that way, and then she was running behind me. And she grabbed me by my shoulders and, I mean, I fell to the ground,” Aydee told the TV station.

Momma Bear Found Nearby With Three Cubs

Authorities found an adult female bear near three yearling cubs in a tree.

The bear was killed humanely per Florida Wildlife Commission’s policy on protecting public safety. Officials darted the animal before euthanizing it.

Wildlife officials determined that the three 100-pound bears were “old enough to survive on their own.” Officials let the bears go free.

One of the woman’s neighbors wondered why officials didn’t relocate the animal. David Mangham told WESH that it was “unfortunate” his neighbor got “scratched up by the bear. He added that “she is fortunate to be alive, I guess but as far as euthanizing it, why not relocate it?” 

But wildlife officials said they couldn’t risk the animal returning and attacking more people. FWC Bear Management Program Coordinator David Telesco said his agency couldn’t afford to have “bears living in neighborhoods that are willing to hurt” people.

WESH reported that Aydee’s attack was just the 14th attack on a human since 2006. However, nine of those attacks happened in the last seven years. The state’s Bear Conservation Rule protects these bears, but they came off the State’s Threatened Species list in 2012. 

The Florida Wildlife Commission has not reported any fatal bear attacks, but people have suffered bites and scratches. Bears usually defend themselves and their cubs in these incidents. Also, sometimes people get too close to food sources.