SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake Mary woman is recovering after being attacked by a 200-pound black bear near her home on Brackenhurst Place in the Carisbrooke subdivision, according to officials.
Terri Frana, 45, has 40 staples in her head and lacerations on her body from the attack.
"She opened her jaw and clamped down onto my head, and I could just hear her teeth marks," Frana said of the attack.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said they were forced to shoot one bear and euthanized four others since the attack, but their hunt is far from over.
"We're here for public safety. These bears are highly habituated. They have no fear of humans and they're very food-conditioned, making them dangerous bears. So, we're erring on side of public safety when we do this," said one FWC spokesman during a news conference Monday.
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 investigators said the bears are using paths through the woods to go straight to bird feeders or trash cans they know they can access.
"You need to stop getting close to these bears, stop feeding them, stop human contact," said Lenny Salberg of the FWC. "What's happening, these bears showed no fear of humans."
Frank Frana, Terri Frana’s husband, said she was afraid the bears were going after her two young children.
Her 10-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son had just left the house Saturday night when she saw five bears scurry toward the garage, where the children had just been. She walked down the driveway to look for her children.
"One of the bears stood up, knocked her down, and started to maul her," Frank Frana said. "She has 30 staples in her head, 10 stitches in her head, lacerations, and claw marks on her back."
He said the bear had his wife’s head in her mouth and dragged her about 4 feet toward a wooded area.
He said she managed to escape from the bear's jaw, and then ran inside the house, where she collapsed.
"It was a close call," Frank Frana said.
Terri Frana was released from the hospital Sunday.
Neighbors said they are worried for their safety and they’ve recently spotted several bears in the area.
"We've had a new bear here recently, who is a mama bear, and she has got two small cubs and a lame left foot. It would appear to me that she has three reasons to be aggressive," Doug Cifers said.
In other parts of the state, FWC officials will move nuisance bears instead of euthanizing them. Officials in central Florida said these bears are just too aggressive for that.
"This bear, if we trap it and move it, we're just moving a problem to somebody else's neighborhood," said Salberg.
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.