Bear Attack Victim Left Horrifying Phone Message for Husband

By ABC News

Apr 16, 2014 12:00pm

ABC News’ Linzie Janis reports:

The Florida woman who was mauled by a bear while at home Saturday unintentionally left a nearly six-minute voicemail message on her husband’s phone that captures the voracity of the attack.

“There was just a voicemail of five minutes and 43 seconds of me screaming,” said Terri Frana, whose cell phone dialed her husband’s phone while she was in the throes of a black bear’s jaw Saturday evening.

“He didn’t answer,” she said.

Frana, of Lake Mary, Fla.,  was found collapsed to the ground inside her living room by her son, who dialed 911, moments after the attack by what she estimates was a 200-pound black bear .

“She came in screaming. She said a bear attacked her,” her son told the 911 operator.

Frana’s husband then grabbed the phone to tell the 911 operator his wife was attacked and that three bears had been in the family’s garage.

“She’s breathing,” Frank Frana said on the 911 call.  “She’s just traumatized. She’s breathing and bleeding hard.”

Frana was reading inside the screened-in porch of her family’s home Saturday evening when she saw two bears in the left side of the yard.  Believing that her two other children were outside in the home’s front yard, Frana left the porch on the opposite side of the bears to head to the front yard.

Before she could get to her children in the front yard, Frana, 45, spotted two bears at the bottom of her driveway and three more inside the garage.  It was one of the bears inside the garage that Frana says attacked her.

Frana, who suffered wounds to her head and body, was released from the hospital Sunday and is recovering at home.

Her other two children were on their way home from a neighbor’s home when they heard the screaming and came running home.

“When they got to the driveway there were two bears in the driveway still eating the trash,” Frana said.  “Thank God they had the sense to come to this side of the house.”

“As soon as they got in the house I knew they were safe,” she  said of her children.  “I felt I could breathe and calm down and know this was a true miracle.”

Wildlife officials in Florida announced that they put down a seventh bear and are offering a reward for tips on anyone feeding bears in the area.

The attack on Frana happened in an area 10 miles from where another woman, 54-year-old Susan Chalfant, was mauled by a black bear while walking her dogs last December.

In the last five years, bear sightings in Florida have doubled to nearly 6,200 a year. Last summer, teenager Abigail Whetherall was mauled by a bear after unsuccessfully trying to play dead.

Black bear attacks on humans are highly unusual and occur mainly when a bear feels her cubs are threatened, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

People who are attacked by black bears are encouraged to stand their ground and not back away or play dead.

“One of biggest myths is play dead, don’t do that; they eat dead animals,” Police officer David Shultz told ABC News.  “If you see them, make a lot of noise from a safe distance. Never try to outrun, they will outrun, outclimb. Come in contact with one, you want to back up slowly and if he keeps coming at you just act as big as you can.”

ABC News’ Liz Fields and Gillian Mohney contributed to this report.

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