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81 year old woman jailed without bail for feeding wild animals

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.

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Ridiculous. If she wants to

Ridiculous. If she wants to feed bears, then so be it. Frankly, I don't CARE if wildlife officials or neighbors like it or not. If she doesn't mind contending with "aggressive" bears with a weapon as a result, then leave her alone. Neighbors who don't like it can move. There is risk involved in any endeavor including living next to neighbors who love feeding wild animals. Maybe, her myopic action might convince neighbors to buy guns and learn to use them. ;)

She threatened to kill the cops if they came back again

She's being held without bail for her own good, sounds kind of crazy at this point. Time for granny to move into a nursing home.

Feeding bears puts her neighbors in imminent danger, and she made credible threats. This isn't a mere nuisance case escalated unilaterally by the government.

Edit: Are you guys even reading the linked news article before going off the handle about the police state? Yes, we have a police state for real; but no, this loony old bat is not a victim of that police state. We don't know whether or not she owns a gun, but Grandma with a shotgun is a meme as American as apple pie, and she threatened to kill cops. It's routine to hold someone without bail when they've made death threats, until a hearing. I hope she's got money so that taxpayers don't have to foot her legal bill.

Take back the GOP and Restore America Now.

Police state

This is just yet another sign of the domestic army we have raised against us in our country.

Do not feed the Bears...!!!

By doing so she puts her neighbors and their children and pets in danger!!

Tough call

They put the bear down.
I guess they figured she' find another?

Out west bears have been really big problem with lack of rain and food.
Their hibernation cycle has been disrupted due to lack of food stored.
So the bears are waking more frequently than usual.

Arrest Fish and Wildlife officers for animal cruelity

If they fed their bears enough,

the bears would not have to go to the old ladies house for grub.

Har Har!

Those bears should go on welfare and food stamps

It's tragic they are reduced to digging through trash for food, and humiliating to depend on charity. But it is empowering to live on the dole.

Take back the GOP and Restore America Now.

kinda crazy

more out of control government.

Cyril's picture

Yet another productive and far sighted use of my tax payer money

Yet another productive and far sighted use of my Floridans' tax payer money by dear state, as we can see.

Simply delightful, for Florida.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

What's this?

She was giving welfare to something so now the government threw her in a cage because the free food causes dependence?


Clever analyses! :)

Well, it does seem excessive

Well, it does seem excessive but feeding bears is indeed no joke.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

You're right

on both counts. Someone usually gets mauled or killed, and then the bear.

I fed a bear once

But he worked at Disneyland :O

It Could Have Been Worse

...had she been caught feeding homeless people. They'd have to be euthanized as well.

That will teach her!

Feeding wild animals and all of that bad stuff.

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within" W. Durant