Florida man shoots 400-pound bear breaking into his house for dog food
ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida man shot and killed a 400-pound (180-kg) black bear after it broke into his house two nights in a row to get to a bag of dog food, a state wildlife officer said on Friday.
"I felt in danger enough that since it wouldn't leave I had to shoot it," said Victor Peters of Lady Lake of the Wednesday night incident in a video interview posted online by the Orlando Sentinel.
Killing a bear in Florida is illegal. Wildlife officer Greg Workman of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation said he expects to hand the case to prosecutors by early next week for their consideration at the completion of his investigation.
"It sounds like he did what he could do to try to keep the bear from coming back," Workman said. "We're looking at all sides to make the best decision."
Bears and humans cross paths, occasionally fatally for the animals, in Central Florida where sprawling subdivisions have sprung up in former bear habitat and along their natural corridors around the Ocala National Forest.
In a previous case this year, seven bears were euthanized in April by wildlife officers in the search for the culprit after one grabbed a Lake Mary woman by the head outside her home.
Peters, whose home is about 50 miles northwest of Orlando, called 911 on Tuesday evening after the bear entered his glassed-in porch by smashing out the metal-framed windows to get the dog food, Workman said.
At the direction of wildlife officers, Peters removed the dog food from his porch, but the bear returned on Wednesday evening.
Peters, in the video interview on Friday, said he was prepared with a loaded rifle. When the bear ignored his yells and kept approaching, Peters said he shot the bear in the head from a distance of 10 feet (3 meters).
Workman said the adult male bear was one of the biggest he has seen in the area.