Search continues for bear that attacked Longwood woman

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LONGWOOD, Fla. - On Wednesday, Florida Fish and Wildlife officers said they captured a female yearling bear Tuesday night near where a bear attack on a woman happened on Monday. The trapped bear is between 75 to 100 pounds.
FWC officials measured the tranquilized bear and took samples for the investigation into what investigators call the worst black bear attack on a human in Florida's history.

The bear is likely not the one that put 54-year-old Susan Chalfant in the hospital and Eyewitness News learned the measures taken Wednesday are not often needed.

Data shows nine bears have been relocated from central Florida counties and six have been put down.

Central Florida has a third of the entire state's black bear population.

Even though they don't believe the bear is the one that attacked Chalfant they're going to keep it for a few days for testing. Once it's cleared, they'll tag it before it's released back into the wild.

"The genetics we're going to be sending away and the size of the feet we were taking, that plays in the investigation," Mike Orlando with FWC said. :39

In the meantime, the search continues for the larger bear responsible for the attack. That bear will be euthanized.

"Catching a bear is a difficult task and we're going to do the best we can to make sure it's all squared away," Orlando said.

Officers said they are monitoring the trap to see if any other bears are associated with the yearling. It has not been confirmed whether the bear is the one from Monday's incident.

Neighbors rushed to help 54-year-old Chalfant after she was attacked by a black bear in a Longwood neighborhood Monday night.

Chalfant ran to a nearby house for help.

A caller to 911 described Chalfant's face as completely covered in blood.

"She's pleading for quick, quick help. She's in severe pain," the caller told the 911 dispatcher.
The attack happened on Markham Woods Road as the woman was walking her dogs.

Chalfant remains hospitalized at Orlando Regional Medical Center with traumatic injuries, according to officials.

Investigators have not been able to talk to her about the incident.

Officials said it was a rare attack, and they do not know what might have prompted the bear to attack.

"There were no witnesses to the attack, and we have not been able to speak to (the victim) yet, so we don't know exactly what happened," said Karen Parker of FWC.

Last year, a dog was mauled by a bear 3 miles from the site of Monday's attack.

A woman also reported being bitten by a bear on her backside while walking her dog.

FWC officials said they have received more than 200 calls of bear sightings in Seminole County this year.

One man spoke with Channel 9's Roy Ramos about a bear he saw outside his home, just hours after Chalfant was attacked.

Some residents said they thought it was just a matter of time before someone was attacked.

Surveillance video from the home of Kristopher Thorpe shows a bear that walked onto his property around 2 a.m. Tuesday, about six hours after Chalfant was attacked.

Thorpe said when he turned on the television and saw the story of Chalfant he thought that it could be the same bear.

Thorpe said bears in the area have become very aggressive recently.

Over the past month, he said he has been able to record several hours of footage of what he said is the same bear tipping over trash cans, even as Thorpe was just feet away shooting video of it.

What concerns Thorpe is that he said he has tried to have wildlife officials do something about the bear because it would not stop coming around.

"I didn't want the bear killed, but I think he needs to be relocated. He is more than a nuisance, he was becoming aggressive, he was becoming a threat," said Thorpe.