Video shows man feeding bear 2 houses away from attack

By Jeff Allen, Seminole County Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, July 11, 2014, 8:28 AM EDT

Eugene "Doug" Cifers continues to deny he had fed bears in his Seminole County neighborhood — the same neighborhood where a woman was attacked in April — but investigators say new video released Thursday shows Cifers on camera feeding a bear.

But despite the video and other evidence that investigators say proves Cifers was feeding black bears, Cifers is still fighting his charges in court.

The video was taken by someone in the Carisbrooke subdivision months before Terri Frana was violently attacked by a bear going through her garbage. Seven bears caught in and near the scene were euthanized in the days following the attack.

"When she had my head, I thought, I'm not going to make it," Frana said during an interview with wildlife investigators the night of the attack.

Frana also told investigators that Cifers, who lives doors away from her home, had been feeding bears for more than two years, and even bragged about it.

"He hand-feeds them," Frana said. "He has them come right up to his patio, his porch. He has pictures of him and his wife hand-feeding the bears, petting the bears."

When wildlife investigators asked Frana why no one had asked Cifers to stop feeding the bears, her response was simple: "He showed me the pictures. I was disgusted. You know, I try not to engage with him."

One witness said Cifers told him he has raised the bears since they were young. And even though Cifers denies feeding bears, he admitted a TV producer has contacted him because he is known as the "bear whisperer."

Cifers pleaded not guilty in June to charges of feeding the bears. He is due back in court later in July.