A video on the social media application Nextdoor shows a large bear walking up to the front door of a home on Lost Trail, presumably looking for food.
Social media posts have been surfacing lately that show bears wandering through the woods with cubs, as well as rummaging through people’s trash cans.
Mark Holmes spotted a trio of bears recently while driving along East Hewitt Road in Santa Rosa Beach. They were walking in a clearing by power lines.
The bears trotted across a drainage ditch filled with water and back into the woods when they saw their human audience staring back with smartphones.
Other instances have been happening regularly in Okaloosa County in the neighborhoods in the Green Acres Road area.
A video on the social media application Nextdoor, shows a large bear walking up to the front door of a home on Lost Trail, presumably looking for food.
Other posts on Nextdoor display photos of trash strewn across yards.
Brittany Reed, who lives on Meadow Lane, posted photos of her trash cans, which had bear locks on them, destroyed by a bear that had no trouble breaching the smelly receptacle.
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Bekah Nelson, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said biologists had no reports of a nuisance bear in the Green Acres neighborhood. She urged folks having problems to call the Wildlife Alert hotline (toll-free): 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922).
The FWC has tips on its website about what to do if you encounter a black bear.
• If you encounter a bear at close range, remain standing upright, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice.
• Do not feed or intentionally attract bears. If a bear eats something on your property, take note of what it is and secure it once the bear leaves.
• Never approach or surprise a bear. If you see a bear from a distance, enjoy the experience, but do not move toward the bear. If you are close, do not make any sudden or abrupt movements. Back way slowly and be sure the bear has an obvious escape route.
If you are in your yard,
• Make sure that you are in a safe area and that the bear has a clear escape route. Then, make noise or bang pots and pans to scare the bear away.
• Do not turn your back, play dead, climb a tree or run. Back away slowly into the house or secure area.
• Avoid direct eye contact. Bears and many other animals may view this as aggressive behavior.
Report to the FWC any bear that is threatening the safety of humans, pets or livestock, or causing property damage.
CONTACT: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
George Warthen, Regional Director, 3911 Hwy. 2321, Panama City, FL 32409-1658, PHONE: 850-265-3676
Wildlife Alert hotline (toll-free): 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922)