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Bears spotted in local neighborhoods

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - “We have a bear that just keeps coming around. It’s not scared it will come to your door, it will come to you when there are people outside. It’s just not scared of anything and it just sticks around our neighborhood,” Lauran Rocha, a concerned citizen said.

Over in the Brentwood neighborhood, residents tell us it’s gone to the bears.

“Yeah, we got a few that are coming up into the yard, tearing up trashcans. Scattering garbage all over the place scattering garbage all through the night,” Steve McCann, another concerned citizen said.

Residents throughout the neighborhood say they see these bears frequently, and it’s to a point now where it’s un-bear-able.

“I mean we can’t go outside with the kids at night. It comes around at what is like 6 o’clock at night. Like we can’t really go outside with our kids at all,” Rocha said.

“You know it’s getting a little scary night to come out and you know to be face to face with a bear,” McCann said.

And with Halloween coming up, they’re being extra careful.

“For trick or treating, we’re literally cutting it off at six o’clock in our neighborhood. Putting signs up doesn’t come in our neighborhood because of the bear,” Rocha said.

If you run upon one, or it runs upon you, local authorities have some tips to keep your bear-ings.

“The biggest thing is to keep your trash secure, keep them up when it’s not trash time. Make sure that there’s no food, anything to attract the bears to your house. If you have the sign of a bear, the best way of doing is going online and reporting it to the FWC,” Springfield Assistant Police Chief Russell Voyles said.

Voyles adds that if the bear is an immediate safety danger, contact the department and someone will come out and handle the situation the best they can.

“Be vigilant, look for any signs the bears may be around. As bad as that sounds, be careful exiting your home if you know there’s a bear in the area,” Voyles said.

Voyles says the department is working on being certified in bear hazing. It would allow them to use non-lethal ammo like paintballs, bean bags, and air rounds to scare them off.

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