More Bear Sightings in the Florida Panhandle

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DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL -- More residents are reporting bear sightings in their backyards.

Florida Wildlife Commission Officials say ten years ago, they received around 140 calls. In 2012, over 1700 calls were recorded of bear sightings.

People say the bears are coming into their yards and getting into trashcans.

Conservationists said residents must take some responsibility to keep the critters away.

"If you know you have bears in the area, if you're have a problem, secure your garbage cans in an out building or a caddy to protect it or put an electric fence around it," FWC Public Information Coordinator Stan Kirkland said.

They said there has not been a bear attack in Florida in over 60 years. The easiest way to stay safe is to give the animals plenty of space.