Bears starting to show up in Port St. John

Port St. John neighbors record black bear running through front yards

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. – In some Central Florida counties, people are used to seeing bears walking around their neighborhoods and breaking into trash cans. 

But in Brevard County, it's a rare sighting and neighbors in Port St. John say the bears are starting to show up. 

Wednesday morning, resident Nicky Dawson's surveillance recorded a bear running through her front yard.

Then, Wednesday night on Beaverbrook Street, a second neighbor recorded a curious, solitary black bear in front of his house.

"I heard a little bit of commotion, thought somebody was on the side of my house," Trey Powers said."So I walk around and I saw a patrol car with a spotlight shining."

It was a Brevard sheriff's deputy hitting the high-beams when the deputy found the bear in Powers' yard.

The bear then ran away.

A third neighbor, David Worth, said his cameras captured the bear walking through his yard after getting into his trash can.

"I found out when I got home from work that he'd knocked our garbage can over and got some old lunch meat out," Worth said.

The state's wildlife authority is now alerting Port Saint John neighbors to keep the trash where bears can't get it.

The FWC thinks the bear might be looking for new territory which means it's wandering in areas it's normally not seen.

At the Brevard Zoo's black bear exhibit, an animal wellness specialist reiterated to keep your trash bear-proof but don't worry so much about your pets because black bears are omnivores.

"They probably won't go after your pets. They do eat some meat but not a lot, primarily nuts and berries, lots of produce," Megan Stankiewicz with the zoo said.

The FWC said  home surveillance is a fine way to get videos of the bears but don't chase the bears and try to take pictures with your phone. Don't let the bear notice because that may scare the bears.

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