HOLLEY, Fla. (WKRG) — A family’s dog is dead after being attacked by a black bear in northwest Florida on the night of July 18. Shawn and Rusty Wildman’s 6-year-old Chihuahua, Maggi, was killed right outside their home.
They were emotional Tuesday as they remembered what happened to Maggi. “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. “We are shattered.”
Rusty took their three dogs out at 5 p.m. They weren’t far from the front porch when three bears walked up from the backyard. “The other two [bears] started to go, but the other one turned around and snatched her and took off right behind them,” Rusty said. “It was one of the cubs that got her, not the mama.”
The bears ran 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,” Shawn said. “She was a gift to me when our only daughter went off to college so I would have something to mother and love.”
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. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set a trap Tuesday night to try and relocate the bears, but the Wildmans are nervous and want more done to keep bears away from their neighborhood.
“Our state has got to do something to protect us,” Shawn said.
“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.