Paying the price: Man shoots bear that breaks into his house twice... for dog food

Man meets bear. Now the bear's dead and the man's in trouble with the law.

The Florida man had shot and killed a 400 pound (180 kg) black bear after it broke into his house two nights in a row to get to a bag of dog food.

"I felt in danger," Victor Peters of Lady Lake said in a video interview posted online by the Orlando Sentinel last week. "Since it wouldn't leave, I had to shoot it."

Killing a bear in Florida is illegal.

Wildlife officer Greg Workman of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation said he expects to hand the case to prosecutors by early next week for their consideration at the completion of his investigation.

"It sounds like he did what he could do to try to keep the bear from coming back," Workman said. "We're looking at all sides to make the best decision."

Bears and humans do sometimes cross paths in Central Florida, where sprawling subdivisions have sprung up in former bear habitats around the Ocala National Forest.

Occasionally, the encounters are fatal - for the animals.

In an earlier case this year, wildlife officers euthanised seven bears were  in April. They were searching for the culprit after one unidentified beast grabbed a Lake Mary woman by the head outside her home.

Peters, whose home is about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Orlando, called 911 on Tuesday evening after the bear entered his glassed-in porch.

It had smashed the metal-framed windows to get the dog food, Workman said.

Photos: YouTube

At the direction of wildlife officers, Peters removed the dog food from his porch.

But the bear returned on Wednesday evening.

Peters, in the video interview on Friday that he was prepared with a loaded rifle. When the bear ignored his yells and kept approaching, he shot it in the head.

The bear was about 10 feet (3 metres) away.

Workman said the adult male bear was one of the biggest he has seen in the area. - Reuters