LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers are investigating a bear that was shot and killed in a Lake County neighborhood.
Amanda Coursey says she had just arrived home Monday -- her three -year-old granddaughter was with her, because Coursey always watches the little girl -- when underneath their magnolia tree, they spotted something strange.
"I noticed an animal that might possibly be dead," she said.
That animal was an estimated 500-pound male black bear, about 8 to 10 years old, with a gunshot wound. She and her husband took pictures.
"It was very sad, my granddaughter was not traumatized, because at three years old, the bear is going to the doctor who will make him all better."
But in reality, it was a gruesome find. She said it wasn't until an FWC officer flipped the bear over, that they learned the bear hadn't been hit by a car, but rather it had been shot.
It is illegal to shoot a bear outside hunting season in Florida, unless the animal is posing an immediate threat.
Coursey said, "This bear has been in the neighborhood a long time and has never caused any problem."
The charge for illegally killing a bear is a misdemeanor with a $500 fine.