Must people have seen a kind, and gentle senior like Mary Musselman, 81, at some point in their lives. She’s the old lady that likes to feed the birds and stray animals. But it’s when the senior started to feed the bears that Fish and Wildlife officials had enough. The retired physical education teacher was hauled away kicking and screaming by Fish and Wildlife officers in Sebring, Florida. Authorities said that what she was doing was a danger to her community and she was warned once already. In November of 2013, a judge gave her probation over this matter. Because of her feeding bears previously, an aggressive bear had to be killed by Wildlife authorities. Because the senior citizen violated the terms of her probation, she is now being held without bond over the bear feeding. The 5’ft, 90 pound woman is also being charged with battery on a police officer for kicking and cursing the officers at the time of her arrest. Gary Morse, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission spokesman, made the following statement:
“We sympathize with her and her husband. This is a situation that deteriorated through time and it’s an unfortunate outcome. Once wildlife, any wildlife — especially bears — lose their fear of people, then there’s a potential for destruction when they’re trying to get into people’s sheds at food, birds seed, dog food, etc. And there’s a potential for danger to people…”
Many neighbors and former students were upset at how Musselman was treated. Neighbors called it heavy handed and described Musselman as a gentle soul.