(ABC NEWS) - Florida officials searched a gated community for a black bear that attacked a mother, who was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for her injuries.
The Longwood, Fla., woman was attacked at 8:05 p.m. Monday as she was walking her dogs in a subdivision, Seminole County Fire Rescue Lt. Alisa Keyes told ABC News. The unidentified woman was able to break free and run to a nearby residence where a neighbor called 911.
She was alert and oriented but had suffered serious undisclosed injuries, Keyes said. The woman was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center and her condition was not known.
The attack took place within about a mile of the Wekiva River basin, which is known as a bear habitat.
Although it’s a wooded area and there have been several bear sightings, Keyes says this is the first full-fledged attack by a bear on a human she’s ever heard of in the state.
Neighbors say bear sightings in the area have become increasingly common lately.
“Two weeks ago I saw one go right across my driveway, into my neighbor’s yard. I watched it. Swear to God. Watched it go through a trash can and then walk out in the woods,” an unidentified neighbor said.
Last year, wildlife officials in nearby Orlando had to tranquilize a black bear, causing it to fall from a tree.
ABC News’ Anthony Castellano contributed to this report.