TAMPA (FOX 13) - A Polk County Deputy Sheriff was forced to shoot an a bear as it was attacking a family's pig penned in their backyard, on Saturday morning.
The deputy was on patrol and saw the black bear walking across S.R. 60 in Alturas towards Wells Road. While waiting for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to arrive the deputy followed the bear to help ensure it did not hurt anyone.
The deputy saw the 6-foot-tall 300 lb. bear climb a fence and go onto a Wells Road property. The bear began attacking a pig on the property that penned in the backyard of the home. After shooting once at the bear and striking it in its lower back the bear began to run towards the deputy who then shot the bear again, killing it.
Officials say the pig survived the attack and did not require any treatment and that nobody was injured.
"There is no such thing as a routine call in law enforcement. I'm proud of this deputy, who saw a potential threat by a wild animal, immediately took action, and placed himself in a position not only to protect human life, but also someone's livestock. Because he was in the right place at the right time, the bear did not kill or maim anyone or anything," Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The FWC removed the bear after the shooting and asks that anyone with questions about the bear to direct them to the FWC. and for more information about Florida's growing bear population, please go to www.myfwc.com/bear.