LONGWOOD, Fla. - Channel 9 Eyewitness News has uncovered evidence that bears in the Longwood neighborhood where a woman was mauled last month may have been illegally fed by the woman's neighbor.
The address listed was off English Ivy Court, just yards from where 54-year-old Susan Chalfant was attacked.
Wildlife officials said one of the first rules of living in a neighborhood where bears are known to roam is take in your
But someone who lives on English Ivy Court, now known for the worst bear attack in Florida history, reported that a neighbor was feeding foxes and bears from trays in their backyard.
"That's when accidents happen," said Christin Burford, of the Care Sanctuary in Apopka.
Burford said the bear that officials said attacked
She said if someone was feeding the bear it could lose its fear of people.
"The bear would be attracted to that area if it's used to getting
Burford said once bears find a food source, they'll keep coming back to take advantage of it.
She said if that immediate food source goes away bears will search open garages or break into porches to find something to eat.
"They will, they absolutely will and the thing is, they're not simple animals, they'll find a way," said Burford.
According to the report filed in March a law enforcement officer did come out to the neighborhood.
Ray asked if wildlife agents did any follow-ups, or if anyone was cited for feeding