A Florida woman was attacked by a bear in her driveway last week while she was taking her dog for a walk, leaving her with a major laceration on her face.
The woman, who identified herself as Aydee, was attacked around 9 p.m. last Thursday in Debary when she encountered a startled black bear mother who had been hanging out in the neighborhood. When Aydee fled, the bear followed, clawing at her.
“When I realized it, she got me here,” Aydee told Fox 35 of the terrifying ordeal as she pointed to the large cut across the left side of her forehead. “I took off running, and she came running behind me.”
“I was screaming and going to my neighbors to see if he can call 911 or help me or take out a gun,” she said.
Neighbor Awston Kennedy told the outlet he heard a pounding on his door from Aydee, who seemed most concerned about the welfare of her dog.
Kennedy said that just before the attack, the bear was up in a tree in front of his house when it came down to investigate some trash on the roadside. Neighbors tried to shoo the bear away, but it instead went after Aydee.
After the attack, neighbors scared the bear and her cubs away into the woods until authorities arrived.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call, where they found the momma bear and her three, 1-year-old cubs sitting up in a tree, the FWC said in a press release.
Biologists from FWC arrived on the scene and euthanized the mother bear with a tranquilizer, determining that her three cubs, each weighing about 100 pounds, were old and big enough to survive on their own. No attempt was made to capture them, officials said.
Aydee said she wished that the cubs had been relocated, fearing they would just return.
“I’m an animal lover too, but those are not my friends. She was trespassing at my house. I was not in her territory,” Aydee told Fox 35. “Two more years and we will be in the same boat.”
Other neighbors reportedly were upset with the decision to kill the mother bear, who they said had lived in the area for seven or eight years and had never been a problem or a threat before.