LONGWOOD, Fla. — A woman was hurt early Tuesday in an encounter with a black bear and cubs outside of her Seminole County home.
The incident happened when the woman let her dog out overnight in The Springs neighborhood near the Wekiwa Springs area.
State wildlife agents responded Tuesday by setting a trap for the bear and canvassing the neighborhood for more information from the public.
Neighbors said they have been sharing videos of a mother bear and its cubs for weeks after the bears were spotted up and down the Little Wekiva River.
The victim's husband told deputies that a bear with cubs either bit or scratched her on Wild Holly Lane around midnight.
Later in the day, residents reported a bear and its cubs were in a tree directly across from The Springs neighborhood.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office said the victim's dog ran toward the bear cubs. When the owner called the dog back, the bears also approached, and the owner tripped and fell trying to get to safety.
That's when the bear either bit or scratched her heel, deputies said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said if it catches the bear it will have to be put down, but the cubs will live.
"Bears are more active this time of year as they are preparing for winter," an FWC spokesman said.
FWC said Thursday that it has concluded efforts to trap the bear because the agency's policy limits trapping efforts to several days in order to not attract additional bears to the area.
"We have not documented any bear activity near the trap or on field cameras since the time of the incident," the agency said in a statement. "FWC will continue to monitor the area for bear activity and provide additional response as needed."
The agency said wildlife officers are investigating reports that someone tampered with the traps.
Residents are asked to report any concerning bear activity to FWC by calling 352-732-1225.
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