Bear attack victim speaks

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida (WESH) – A Seminole County, Florida woman, who was attacked by a bear outside her Lake Mary home, is talking about the desperate prayer she uttered as the bear snapped down on her head.

“And she started pulling me toward the woods,” said Terri Frana. “I just thought ‘God, please this can’t be the end. It can’t end like this.’ I literally heard Jesus say to me, ‘It’s OK, you will be at peace with us.’ I replied, ‘Please, my kids need me.’ Then the bear released my head. She let go of my head and I knew I had to get up off that ground and get away, otherwise I was not going to make it.”

Frana ended up having 30 staples to seal the wounds in her head after the bear attacked her Saturday morning in a gated community northwest of Heathrow.

A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission representative said Frana was attacked by one bear, but other bears were present when Frana was injured.

“I saw this large bear charging at me, so I turned and started to run and she must have turned and stood on her hind legs and pushed me down, because I’ve got both her paw claw marks on my neck all the way down to my waist,” Frana said. “I could just hear her teeth marks going through my scalp.”

Her husband, Frank, said Terri was outside about 7:50 p.m. when she saw five bears rummaging through their trash and one of them pounced on her.

“One of the bears stood up, knocked her down and started to maul her,” he said. “The bear actually had my wife’s head in its mouth and started to drag her toward the woods. The bear’s jaws let her head loose then it started on her arms.”

Four bears were killed by the Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission overnight, but officials aren’t sure if any of those are the bear that attacked Frana.

According to authorities, the bears that were killed exhibited dangerous behavior.

Four months ago, Susan Chalfant was bitten in the face and neck by a bear in Longwood.

In that incident, Fish and Wildlife officers believe the female bear was trying to protect her cubs. Three bears were captured and two other adult bears were euthanized, because investigators said they had no suitable place to keep them.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a news release Saturday, asking people to watch for increasing bear activity now that warm weather has arrived.

Officials said the best way to protect people and pets is to keep sources of food, like garbage, birdseed and pet food, secure from bears so they won’t wander into neighborhoods looking for it.

Bear traps are still set up in the neighborhood as the investigation continues.

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