Deputies warn residents of bear spotted roaming in Poinciana

Deputies increase patrols in neighborhoods

Headline Goes Here

Image provided by Polk County Sheriff's Office. Bear pictured above is not same bear sighted.

POINCIANA, Fla. - Polk County sheriff's deputies are warning residents of at least one black bear they say has been reported to be roaming Poinciana neighborhoods.

Deputies said they've received two calls of black bear sightings in the evening and pre-dawn hours since Sunday in the area of Redwing Court, Starling Court, Spoonbill Court, and Sheldrake Road.

The bear spotted was described as being approximately 250 pounds and was seen rummaging through garbage cans, according to deputies. It's not clear if it is more than one bear.

One of the residents had noticed that his trash can had been turned over and opened occasionally within the previous two weeks, according to deputies. This was the resident's first bear sighting since living in the area for eight years.

Deputies encountered a single bear and used air horns and sirens to drive off the animal in their increased patrols, according to the release. The bear wasn't aggressive, deputies said.

Deputies have increased patrol in the areas near school bus stops as a precaution.

Residents can get tips on bear encounters at FWC's website.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.