3 charged with feeding bears in Seminole County

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Three Seminole County residents are facing charges for illegally feeding bears, authorities said.

State wildlife agents said they were able to identify the suspects with cameras that were being used to track the bears around the neighborhood and from tips to the department.

One of those charged lives in a Lake Mary neighborhood where a woman was mauled by a bear in April.

That man, Eugene Cifers, pleaded not guilty, but two others -- Cory Zeek and Lorie Clem -- pleaded no contest and are now facing fines and six months of probation.

Cifers faces up to 60 days in jail and fines if he's found guilty.

"We definitely thought somebody must have been feeding them," said neighbor Crystal Parker.

Zeek and Clem accepted the state's deal. They'll be on supervised probation for six months and will have to do 25 hours of community service, pay more than $450 in fines and cannot feed wildlife.

The judge reminded all of the suspects that feeding wildlife can make them too comfortable around humans more aggressive.

Wildlife officials said they've killed seven bears after the attacks because the animals showed no fear of people and were aggressive. One of those bears was the one responsible for the Lake Mary woman's attack, officials said.