Black bear that attacked woman in Florida killed

Updated: 

A bear that attacked and mauled a woman in Florida has been caught and killed.

Susan Chalfant, 54, was walking her two dogs through the residential area of Longwood, 15 miles north of Orlando, when she was attacked on Monday evening.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) officers have called it one of the worst bear attacks on a human in Florida's history, according to fieldandstream.com.

She ran profusely bleeding to a neighbour's house, and was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Centre for treatment of what officials have described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Wildlife officers placed three traps on the natural bear trail that runs alongside Longwood after Monday's attack, and a bear caught on Wednesday closely matched the description of the attacker and was euthanised, said Karen Parker, a wildlife commission spokeswoman.

Nick Wiley, FWC Executive Director, told the Orlando Sentinel: "Since the incident resulted in serious injuries, we decided to follow the course of an abundance of caution and put the bear down.

"Because public safety is a top priority we will continue working with the community and our trapping efforts."

Samples from the bear will be sent in for testing to determine whether it was definitely the same bear that mauled Ms Chalfant.

A number of factors persuaded the biologists to put down the bear. However, Parker added: "We are not positively sure we got the right bear so we are going to continue to trap. If they capture another large bear, there's a good possibility it would be put down, too."

According to Reuters, complaints about Florida black bears have quadrupled over the last decade following the growth of urban areas fracturing bear habitats, leaving people near bear trails.

However, human injury from bear attacks is very rare.

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