Central Florida woman injured in encounter with bear
Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:15 p.m.
LONGWOOD — A woman was injured in an encounter with a bear while walking her dog, and wildlife officers set up a trap Tuesday to try to capture the animal, officials said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said in a news release that Susan Chalfant was hurt Monday evening in the Orlando suburb of Longwood.
Chalfant was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for treatment and her condition wasn't immediately available. The dog wasn't injured.
A neighbor on a 911 call said Chalfant was bleeding from the head.
Chalfant can be heard screaming in the background of the 911 call as her neighbor, identified only as "Steve," urges a dispatcher to send paramedics quickly.
"She's pleading for quick help. She is in severe pain," the neighbor said. "Her whole face was bloody when she came in."
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were patrolling the neighborhood where Chalfant was hurt and set up a trap in the yard where the bear was last seen.
At last count, there were approximately 3,000 black bears living in Florida, according to fish and wildlife.
Florida has had a series of recent sightings of bears in urban or suburban settings when they are usually on the hunt for food in garbage cans. In June, a 300-pound bear wandered through parts of downtown Orlando. The bear didn't threaten anyone and residents stopped and took pictures during the bear's journey.
Last July, a 225-pound bear died after running into the side of an ambulance rushing to an emergency call in Hernando County, north of Tampa.