NAPLES, Fla. - One man got more than he expected when he opened up his front door Tuesday night.
Andrew Meunier was letting his dogs outside when a large bear attacked him. His 7-year-old daughter was asleep inside the apartment.
Meunier says he let his dog out around 11 p.m. when he walked outside and saw a 4-foot bear standing next to him.
“I came outside and he was right there, and I tried to run but it wasn’t fast enough,” Meunier said.
He said he struggled to get away, but managed to get back through his front door.
“I’m just happy to be alive it could’ve been a totally different story,” he said.
The attack happened on Dream Catcher Circle in Naples, across the street from Gulf Coast High School. Apparently, this neighborhood has had a bear presence for some time–neighbors say they’ve seen bears digging through trash.
The 911 call revealed that Meunier suffered a minor facial laceration from the bear attack. He sought treatment at a local hospital and has since been released. He received 41 stitches.
This was the first bear attack in all of South Florida since 1970. Meunier says although he’s not thrilled to be the first victim in decades, he says he’s lucky to be alive.
Another resident, Christian Pugh, recorded a video of bears going through the trash bins outside his home–but shortly after he recorded it, one of the bears rushed toward him.
Florida Fish and Wildlife says they are looking to place more secure and stable trash bins into communities in order to prevent animals from getting into them. Last year, they tested the bins at the Naples Zoo and were successful.