Teen comes face-to-face with bear in Apopka

Neighbors say they've seen as many as 3 bears wandering through yards


APOPKA, Fla. – Families in Apopka are in fear of what they say are several bears roaming their neighborhood.

A bear came face to face with a 13-year-old Sunday night in the Brightwood Manor neighborhood.

Dante Whitten says he had an up-close encounter with a bear as he was walking to the porch of his house.

"There's the paw print, one, two, three," said Whitten. "The bear was sitting right here in the middle and it stood up. Then, it went back down and then it walked away."

Neighbors said they've seen as many as three bears wandering through yards and digging through trash cans for food.

A neighbor showed Local 6 a picture of a bear chomping on some birthday cake.

Kenneth Keton said he chased the animal away.

"I went over there and chased him out into the woods, I've done it three or four times at least," said Keton.

Neighbors said the bears are becoming bold, causing damage to homes and even possibly killing some pets.

"I've called the cops, but they don't do anything. I've called people and they say they can't do anything about it," said Keton.

Neighbors said it's just a matter of time before something bad happens.

"I just want him out of here so he doesn't bother the kids and doesn't hurt anybody," said Diane Scala.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told Local 6 they have no record about Sunday's incident.

Neighbors said they've called FWC in the past and were just sent an informational flyer.

Anyone who deals with a nuisance problem with a bear is urged to call FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.