Elderly Woman Arrested for Feeding Animals on her Property


Kristan T. Harris  | The Rundown Livebear

At 5 feet tall and 81 years old,  Mary Mussleman in Sebring, Florida is being held in jail without bond. Mary was arrested for leaving bird seed and corn outside her home, apparently for bears.  It is illegal to leave food out for bears in Florida. Neighbors claim that Mary has fed animals as long as they can remember including squirrels, rabbits, birds and of course bears.

Neighbors commented that they believe the local authorities used poor discernment. In the video below local citizens suggest local authorities did not put “a lot of thought into how to handle the situation”. It was also expressed that she is “81 years old” and this was  an extreme “heavy handed” response.

She had been placed on diversion, meaning that if she didn’t violate the law for a certain period of time, her charges would have been removed the record.

But wildlife officials found 81-year-old Mary Mussleman feeding black bears about two weeks ago.

Authorities did a follow up and found bowls and trays with the corn and birdseed in front of her home. This was a clear violation of her probation. Deputies say Mussleman resisted arrest and threatened to shoot them next time they stepped foot on her property.

Why after 81 years has the city of Sebring, Florida chosen to pursue Mary Mussleman?