HOLLEY, Fla. (WKRG) — A family’s pet is dead after being attacked by a black bear in Northwest Florida Monday evening.
Shawn and Rusty Wildman’s six-year-old Chihuahua, Maggi, was killed by a black bear right outside their home in Holley, which is north of Navarre in Santa Rosa County.
“I’m running, screaming to the top of my lungs,” said Rusty.
“I could tell what it was by the way he was screaming,” said Shawn.
They were emotional Tuesday as they remembered what happened to Maggi.
“We are shattered,” said Shawn. “She was a gift to me when our only daughter went off to college so I would have something to mother and love.”
Rusty took their three dogs out at 5 p.m. Monday, July 18. They weren’t far from the front porch when three bears walked up from the backyard.
“The other two started to go but the other one turned around and snatched her and took off right behind them and it was one of the cubs that got her, not the mama,” said Rusty.
The bears ran off into the woods and dropped Maggi’s body on the way.
“Nobody should have to go through what we went through to see that and live with those images,” said Shawn.
The Wildmans said they don’t keep any food or birdseed out, they lock their trash cans and do the right thing to keep bears away. They don’t want this to happen again or to anyone else’s family.
“Our state has got to do something to protect us,” said Shawn.
“I don’t want to see the bears killed but I would like to see them relocated to a safe place for them and for us,” said Rusty.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set a trap Tuesday night to try and relocate the bears somewhere else but the Wildmans are nervous and want more done to keep bears away from their neighborhood.