Bears Spotted In College Park, Apopka

Crowds Gather To Watch Bears

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida black bears spent Tuesday in two busy Central Florida neighborhoods.


A mom and her two cubs played in several back yards in Apopka near the intersection of Wekiwa Springs Road and Sweetaire Court.

Residents watched as the mom rolled around in the grass and played with a beach ball until she popped it. Then she snapped wooden slabs of a back yard fence. Residents said she destroyed several fences as she walked between the yards.

Residents didn't seem to mind the visitors as they snapped pictures and stood on ladders to watch the wild animals play.

Another bear was spotted in College Park near Vassar Street and Rio Grande Avenue.

Randy Wassum said he walked to the Dumpster to throw out some trash, when a bear stood up.

"I saw him, but it just didn't click. Suddenly I realized, 'This is a bear,'" Wassum said.

He said the bear ran out of the Dumpster and up a nearby tree, then stayed there the entire day as people stopped to take pictures.

Jerry Lewless stopped by with his 5-year-old son.

"It's not very often you get to see a bear in College Park," Lewless said.

Wassum said he called authorities because he was worried about the children.

"There's a daycare center right next door, an elementary school across the street. I was concerned the bear could attack," Wassum said.

Joy Hill, a spokesperson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said that it's not unusual to see bears in the city. She said unless the bear is a threat, they usually just leave them alone.

She said the bears will eventually leave.

Hill said if a bear enters a house or acts aggressively, they will tranquilize and relocate it. However, she said they don't do that very often.

Hill urged residents not to leave trash outside and take pets inside if bears are spotted nearby.

Local 6 watched the bear in College Park climb down the tree and run away around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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