TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A mama bear was shot 16 times in a Sanford neighborhood on Friday, sparking outrage in the community, according to NBC affiliate WESH.
Cindy Freeman, a resident in the neighborhood, told WESH that the whole situation is heartbreaking not only for the bear and its cubs but for someone shooting the bear while children are in the neighborhood heading for their bus stops.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed the mama bear was euthanized due to her injuries from being shot.
“The cubs are old enough to survive on their own and have been observed on game cameras eating on their own; however, FWC bear biologists are actively searching for the cubs for further assessment,” the FWC said in a statement on Wednesday.
Freeman said the bear and her cubs would often roam around the neighborhood, and that the residents enjoyed seeing them. They would take their precautions for their safety, and watch them from a distance.
It is unclear if the person who shot the bear will be charged.