• Wildlife officials try to trap bear that killed dog, attacked Volusia County man


    ORANGE CITY, Fla. - Wildlife officials are trying to trap a bear that attacked and killed a family's dog in Orange City late Monday night.

    Alan Bryant said that after the bear killed his dog, it went after him.

    Bryant said the bear swung at him, knocking him down and tearing his clothes.

    Raw: Man describes bear attack

    Photos: Scene of bear attack

    Bryant said he let his dog, a 2-year-old, 15-pound Yorkie named Tigger, out late Monday night and believes that the dog encountered the bear in his yard.

    He said he heard Tigger barking.

    "Just about the time my big lights came on, the dog quit yelping, and the first thing I see is the bear coming right at me. He started running right at me," Bryant said.

    Bryant said he ran for the carport of his home with the bear chasing him.

    "When they're 2 ½ feet tall on all fours, they're good size. He had no problem knocking me down with one swipe," Bryant said.

    Bryant said his wife opened the door to their home and screamed just as the bear knocked him to the ground. He said he was able to get up and inside the house, closing the door as the bear tried to follow him in.

    Bryant said he has seen bears in his community before. He said he's concerned because it is a retirement community and that at 64 he is in good health and good shape, but that isn't the case for all of his neighbors.

    Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they began trapping efforts in the Country Village community shortly after midnight.

    FWC offical Greg Workman, pointing to paw prints on the ground, said Tuesday morning that there were signs that the bear is aggressive.

    "You can see the prints right there leading up to the door," Workman said. "That's why we're really wanting to be aggressive and catch this bear."

    Workman said the best chance of catching the bear is in the early morning or late evening, and that they want to make sure they have the right bear.

    "We feel as we have a pretty good chance of catching it as long as we can keep everyone back, the lights off during the night, and all the vehicles away from there," he said.

    He said that if the bear is captured, there is no place to relocate it.

    "We know approximately the size, we know approximately the footprint and we've processed the area. Last night we did collect certain evidence, so hopefully when we do catch a bear we can determine if it is that bear, and it will be euthanized," Workman said.

    The neighborhood is surrounded by woods and residents said they are used to seeing bears.

    "This is too aggressive. This bear's too aggressive," resident Dale Switzer said.

    Residents said that people in the community are good about keeping their trash bins secured.

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