Florida Woman Attacked by Bear: 'She Grabbed Me by My Shoulder and I Fell to the Ground'

A bear has been killed by authorities in Florida after it attacked a woman who was out walking her dogs in DeBary on January 13.

The woman, named Aydee, told WESH news she felt "lucky to be alive" after the incident, which happened in the evening in the moments after she left her home with her dogs.

The bear appeared in the street alongside three cubs. According to the television station, it then charged at the woman, knocking her down and injuring her.

"I took off running ... and then, she was running behind me. She grabbed me by my shoulder, and I fell to the ground," she told WESH news.

WESH said a couple in the neighbourhood had first seen the bear in the street after it came down from a pine tree and "started" at them before moving to attack the woman instead.

Florida Black Bears, which are found state-wide, are the only bear species found in the state and are common in central Florida according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC.)

The FWC were called in to respond to the bear attack.

They acted by tranquilizing the bear, which was found in a tree nearby. Later the authorities said they had euthanized the bear, saying it posed a direct threat to humans.

"We can't have bears living in neighbourhoods that are willing to hurt somebody. We just can't allow it," Davis Telesco, the FWC's bear management program coordinator, told WESH.

An interactive map of bear encounters in Florida, available on the FWC website, documents hundreds of incidents in the state, with the largest number of incidents taking place in counties directly north of Orlando, including DeBary.

The bear cubs that accompanied the adult bear in the incident, reportedly 100-pound 'yearlings,' left the area with authorities deeming them to be old enough to survive in the wild on their own.

Black bears were once deemed a threatened species in Florida but were removed from the state's Threatened Species list in 2012.

There are now over 4,000 black bears in Florida. They are protected in the state by the Florida Black Bear Conservation Law, which only permits them to be killed in certain circumstances by the FWC or with their consent.

Common Law 'defense of necessity' is needed in order to justify acting against the animals, for example, when actions are taken to avoid "imminent death or serious injury" to people.

black bear
Stock photo of a black bear. A woman in Florida was mauled while walking her dogs. Getty Images