Volusia Co. woman says bear killed her goats, injured pet donkey

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LAKE HELEN, Fla. - A Volusia county neighborhood is on alert Wednesday afternoon after a woman said a bear attacked and killed several of her pets.

Early Monday morning, Cathy Murphy woke up and found four of her farm goats had been killed, and her pet donkey was injured.

"I saw my first dead goat and I knew that something really big had gotten it … and then I glanced around and they were all dead," Murphy said.

The attacks happened on a little farm on Running Deer Trail in Lake Helen.

Murphy said she and other neighbors saw a bear in the area several times over the past week and took pictures.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into the incident and said it isn’t so sure a bear is to blame.

FWC said bears periodically will take small livestock, but usually eat things like plants and berries.

A spokesperson said dogs or coyotes could be behind these killings.

Murphy disagrees.

“We have proof of it, and we have pictures of it, and we have pictures of the prints of the bear in the paddock there,” Murphy said.

She said she found a paw print next to the dead animals and found black fur stuck to a fence.

“There's no wild dogs out here. There's no coyotes. I mean, we're in Lake Helen. This is city,” Murphy said.

She believes the bear is behind the deadly attacks.

“It just hits me deep in the soul because they were just babies,” Murphy said.

Murphy is trying to get FWC to trap the bear and release it to another area.

Instead, she said FWC suggested she put up an electric fence to protect her animals from future attacks.

“I'm going to do that. I'm going to do every suggestion to make my pets safe,” Murphy said.