Woman, 81, charged with feeding bears

By Michelle Kapusta,

An 81-year-old Florida woman has been jailed and charged with feeding bears.

According to the Associated Press, the Florida woman has been arrested after authorities say she continued to feed the animals in violation of her probation order.

The News Sun has reported that Mary H. Musselman was taken into custody after an agent paid a visit to her home and discovered "numerous bowls and trays with bird seed and corn, hanging bird feeders with bird seed in them, a wooden plank with whole corn and bird seed and whole corn on the ground."

The Sun also noted that Musselman was put on probation two weeks prior to her arrest last week for feeding black bears.

It is against the law to feed bears in the State of Florida. Bears usually avoid people, but garbage, pet food, and bird feeders left outside can draw the animals to residences or businesses. Easy access to non-natural food may cause a bear to associate food with people.

A person can be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail, or receive a $500 fine for feeding the wildlife.

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