Bear Sightings Are Up
There goes the neighborhood or we might say, the "neigh- bear- hood." The number of bear sightings has spiked in parts of North Central Florida.
Last month the Florida Fish and Wildlife office in Ocala received about 300 calls about bear sightings. That's the highest they have ever had.
"We see bears out here almost on a daily basis," said Greg Workman.
Workman is the Director of the Ocala Conservation Center. He said there very often there are bears roaming around the property and some of the bears seem to get pretty comfortable.
"we had a bear actually get on top of there. shake the acorns out of the tree and get on top of there sit like it was a lounger and sit up there eating acorns," said Workman.
At this time of year bears take in about 25,000 calories a day. Stuffing themselves with acorns, berries and other food.
Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Joy Hill said this years good acorn crop has caused bears to show up in unexpected places.
"He's got 4,000 acres in the forest and he is sitting on the side of the road where there was a very nice acorn crop waiting for him," said Hill.
Sometimes bears find other ways to fill up their bellies.
"If they get a whiff of your garbage because it's out an available or your pet food or your bird feed or that kind of thing they may just veer off to that," said Hill.
Giving the bears a reason to come back to find more human food.
It may seem harmless at first, but Hill said in the long run the bear may become a nuisance.
"They are scared of it. They don't want the bear coming around and breaking into their screen room. Very often the people who are calling have created the nuisance," said Hill.
She said some ways to prevent that from happening is by locking up your trash, putting up an electric fence to keep them away from your live stock and avoid leaving pet food outside.
Visit My.FWC.com/Bear to get tips on how to keep bears away from your home.
If you want to learn how to make a garbage caddy that will keep the bears from getting into trash and only cost about $120 contact Greg Workman at gregory.workman@MyFWC.com.
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