• Year after dog attacked, bear still terrorizing Lake Mary family


    LAKE MARY, Fla. - Residents in Lake Mary said a black bear is getting a little too comfortable in their neighborhood.

    A dog was attacked by the bear in the Magnolia Plantation subdivision in November and needed nearly two dozen stitches, but family members said the bear was never removed from the area.

    Connie Gellner said the bear showed up twice in a 24-hour period recently, which has her worried because it was just feet away from her children's basketball hoop.

    "They're afraid to go outside and play now," she said. "He's had a meal of dog food, yesterday morning, and then had breakfast this morning in my neighbor's trash, so he's sticking around."

    Last year, Gellner said the bear attacked the family's dog, Dakota, but that wasn't enough to get the bear moved by Florida Fish and Wildlife.

    The family has a fence separating their yard from the woods where the bear lives, but Gellner said the bear has torn the fence down several times.

    "Home Depot guy said, 'Oh, you're like the 10th person who has come by this weekend for fence for a bear problem,' so it's happening down this Wekiva corridor," said Gellner.

    And now that her children are back in school, Gellner said she worries about the short walk to the bus stop.

    "I would hate to have to get in my car and drive to the bus stop," she said. "It's like a block away, but that might be what we have to do if he doesn't leave."

    FWC officials haven't commented, but they have told Channel 9 in the past that they only remove a bear from a habitat if it is threatening to humans.

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