Woman, 81, Jailed, Charged With Feeding Bears

SEBRING, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) — An 81-year-old Sebring woman has been arrested after authorities say she continued to feed wildlife in violation of a probation order, then fought with a state agent and deputy sheriff as they took her into custody.

The News Sun reports that Mary H. Musselman was arrested Wednesday after the agent found trays with bird seed and corn in Musselman’s yard.

Musselman was put on probation two weeks ago after being charged with two counts of feeding black bears. A Highlands County judge had ordered her not to put out any food to feed bears or other wildlife for a year.

She was warned by the judge that she would be arrested if she violated orders.  The judge ordered weekly visits by FWC officers to make sure Musselman was complying with orders.

Officer Erika Zimmerman paid a visit to Musselman and said that she was greeted with an “expletive-laden tirade,” according to The New Sun.

“Get off the (expletive) property,” Musselman told Zimmerman The New Sun reported.

Zimmerman called Highlands County Sheriff’s deputy Tom Fort to transport Musselman to jail.  Musselman struggled with officers during the arrest and allegedly tried to kick them.

The elderly woman threatened Zimmerman at the jail by stating once she gets out of jail, if the officer steps foot on her property again she will shoot and kill her, The New Sun reported.

In November of last year, FWC officials reported they euthanized a bear after it was fed by Musselman.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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