[Ed. – Oops, did I forget to mention they were bears?]
SEBRING (FOX 13) – Neighbors say Mary Musselman has been feeding backyard animals as long as they can remember.
“She fed the squirrels, the birds, strays and that was in the community. She’s just always been that kind of soul,” says neighbor Patty Palmer.
That is, until Wednesday, when the 81-year retired physical education teacher was hauled to jail for feeding bears one too many times.
“I just think it’s so heavy handed. Way overdone. I don’t think that there was much thought given to her age, her physical, her mental condition,” says John Payne, who is also a neighbor.
But authorities say she had been warned before. Last November, Fish and Wildlife officers had to euthanize a bear she had been feeding. A judge gave her probation, and made it clear: do it again, and go to jail. …
Apparently, Musselman didn’t go without a fight. An arrest report says she struggled and kicked at officers, then threatened to shoot and kill the wildlife officer if she set foot on her property again.