Andrew Meunier is the first person in at least 40 years to be attacked by a bear in South Florida.

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While letting his dogs outside in a routine all too familiar Andrew Meunier was attacked by a black bear in his own backyard Tuesday night in Naples.
Luke Franke/Naples Daily News

While letting his dogs outside in a routine all too familiar Andrew Meunier was attacked by a black bear in his own backyard Tuesday night in Naples. Bear sightings are not uncommon in Meuniers’ neighborhood Amberton Townhomes, a gated community just north of Gulf Coast High School, most likely due to its location near Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Seen here in his home Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News)Buy Photo

Andrew Meunier stared in the bathroom mirror Tuesday night, and a nightmare looked back at him.

So much blood poured from his wounds, he likened the feeling to standing under a shower nozzle.

Meunier took off his shirt, wadded it up to stop the bleeding and walked up the stairs of his North Naples town home. He had just been attacked by a bear in his yard, but he had a 7-year-old daughter to comfort before calling 911.

“I went into her room and had to wake her up,” Meunier said. “I had to tell her what happened. She initially freaked, but when she saw I wasn’t crying or anything, she calmed down.”

In a 911 call to Collier County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers, Meunier can be heard telling his daughter, Annabelle, that everything would be OK, that he would be OK.

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More: FWC awards grants to reduce run-ins with bears in Collier

Meunier is the first person who was attacked by a bear in South Florida in at least the last 40 years — as far back as the data on bear-human interactions goes.

He was taking one of his Pomeranians, Howie, outside about 11 p.m. Tuesday. Seconds after stepping outside, Howie growled at something and ran back inside.

“I wanted to know what scared my dog, so I walked back out,” Meunier said.

A camera trap is armed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about a block away from Meunier’s home adjacent to a heavily wooded area near the Amberton Townhome community just north of Gulf Coast High School Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 in Naples. The property, due to its close proximity to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, is frequently visited by black bears.  (Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News)

Three bears were standing a few feet from the back door, which leads out to a grassy area and a pond. Meunier tried to whirl around and run back inside, but he said a massive paw came down on the right side of his face before he finished turning his back on the animals.

Meunier has an 8-inch scar starting on his hairline and crossing his temple to his cheek. He has smaller cuts under his eye and on his right cheek.

It took four hours in an emergency room and 41 stitches to patch him up.

Blood splatter, a product of the cut along the length of his face, can be seen on the frame of Andrew Meunier’s back door Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News)

He spent two nights at his ex-wife’s house recovering before returning to sleep in his own bed Thursday night. He had some serious cleaning up to do when he got home.

“I’ve never seen a murder scene, but it looked like a murder scene,” he said.

Drops of blood were still visible on the back door frame Friday afternoon.

Meunier isn’t in pain and said the cuts to his face didn’t hurt even when he was bleeding. His right cheekbone hurt from the force of the paw, but he has painkillers for that.

What he might feel for a while is some residual worry and fear when he takes his dogs outside.

“One of the times I took the dogs out, a little rabbit jumped,” Meunier said. “I almost jumped out of my shorts.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up a bear trap not far from Meunier’s home in the Amberton Townhomes community across from Gulf Coast High School in North Naples.

A bear trap is armed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about a block away from Meunier’s home adjacent to a heavily wooded area near the Amberton Townhome community just north of Gulf Coast High School Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 in Naples. The property, due to its close proximity to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, is frequently visited by black bears.  (Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News)

Carol Lyn Parrish, a spokeswoman for the FWC, said the agency’s policy is to trap and euthanize any bear that poses a threat to public safety or that has hurt a person.

If any cubs are trapped, the cubs will be relocated, Parrish said.

Tuesday’s incident was the 15th bear attack in Florida since 1976.

“That’s as far back as the data goes,” Parrish said.

Nine of the bear attacks took place in cities along the Panhandle, and the remaining five took place in Central Florida.

Most of the incidents involved humans being surprised by bears and vice versa while walking pets or taking out trash. Two incidents involved people going after bears in defense of pets.

The FWC advises that if you encounter a bear at close range: 

The FWC advises you not:

 

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