Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bear bites butt

There are an estimated 1,500 Florida black bears in the state (example, 1st image), but if wildlife officials can get the elusive adult they are looking for in the trap they have set (3rd image), the number will be fewer by 1. The 300lb female has become a nuisance bear, lured by the trash at the Camden Club apartments in Longwood and known to be aggressive toward dogs. She signed her own death warrant on Friday morning...

Terri Gurley (2nd image), 57, was following her usual routine and walking her Akita-Shepherd mix just before 7am. The sun had not yet risen and Riley began growling and straining at the leash. The dog had pooped, so she flung the bag of waste into the complex's trash compactor. When she turned, the bear was 5' away and bearing down on her. She backed up slowly, hoping it would leave her alone, but stumbled and fell, hitting her head on the pavement. Gurley was grabbed and recounts, "I could feel her breath on me. I've never been so terrified in my life. I guess by instinct I rolled over so she wouldn't hurt something vital. I didn't know what she was going to do and then the bear bit me in my butt." Neighbors responded to her screams, calling 911, directing her from their balconies. One came to her rescue armed with a baseball bat and another drove his truck toward the bear, flashing the headlights to scare it away. More devastating than the 4 puncture wounds she suffered on her buttocks is the emotional trauma. "I can sympathize with people who encounter alligators* or sharks. I know that fear now. You can't even describe it. I'm trying to make light of it but when I think about how she could've hurt me ... the tears come (see video here)." The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have baited the trap with sardines and doughnuts in an attempt to lure the bear and her yearling cub, which could possibly be euthanized along with its mother. Gurley had actually seen the bear that attacked her when she looked out her ground-floor window, and had waited an hour before going out. About bears she concludes, "I prefer to see them in the zoo."

*You may be interested in reading this post about a 90-year-old woman bitten while in her yard.

YRead *more here:

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