LAKE MARY, Fla. - An emotional Lake Mary woman told Eyewitness News she only thought of her children when she was attacked by a bear in front of her home Saturday evening.
Terri Frana, 45, sat down with Channel 9 days after a 200-pound black bear attacked her at her home on Brackenhurst Place in the Carisbrooke subdivision.
It was hard for Frana to even talk about the attack that could've taken her life. She said she feels like it's a miracle that she's still alive and that it feels like God is giving her a second chance.
Her Lake Mary home has been surrounded by officers with Florida Fish and Wildlife, who have since shot one bear and euthanized four others in the area.
Frana said she stepped outside to check on her young children who had just left the house after she saw a handful off bears in and around her garage and yard. She walked out of the back of her home and toward the driveway to call her children home when one of the bears stood up on its hind legs and knocked her down, mauling her head and gouging her body with its nails.
Frana told Channel 9 the bear put her head in its mouth and dragged her from her yard toward the woods behind her house.
"I could just, those teeth were just digging into my skull and I just said, 'God, please don't let this be my end. Please don't call me home,'" she said.
The Seminole County resident recalled in detail what happened as the bear attacked her.
"(It) bit my side, then grabbed my head and started dragging me toward the woods," Frana said.
As she fought off the bear and was running inside for help, Frana said the bear almost didn't let her get away.
"It just kept coming and when I got to the screen, the bear came through the bottom," Frana said.
Frana's husband said when his wife managed to escape, she ran inside the house and collapsed. She's now recovering with about 30 staples and 10 stitches in her head and cuts all
over her head and back.
She said the attack has been a big
wake-up call about bears in this area and about respecting them and their space.
"We need to respect them and unfortunately we have five new developments going up within five miles. They just have nowhere to go," Frana said.
Frana went on to say she's not sure she and her husband will remain in the area and she's already considered selling their home.
FWC officers said the bear that was shot was aggressive and did not react to them as a bear normally would.
"A Florida Fish and Wildlife officer yelled and the bear did not retreat. The cause of its behavior, the officer determined the bear was dangerous and took the appropriate action," said Florida Fish and Wildlife
Officer Greg Workman.
FWC officials put out four traps in the neighborhood, saying the traps will stay until they feel the danger is gone.
Residents are urged to contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) to report any threatening bear activity.