ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – A juvenile bear spotted in a tree in Altamonte Springs earlier this week came down and ran into the woods nearly two days later, Florida wildlife officials said Wednesday.
A viewer told News 6 around 2 p.m. Monday that they had seen a bear in a tree near 222 S. Westmonte Drive.
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it had hoped the bear would move away on its own.
“Our staff may attempt to assist the bear by capturing or relocating it,” FWC officials stated Tuesday. “Due to the presence of large crowds, the bear has shown some stress-induced behavior, and staff have been asking that people stay away from the area until the bear is either able to move along on its own or is relocated by staff.”
Wildlife officials said the bear came down overnight Tuesday and left the area.
FWC bear biologists and local law enforcement officers assisted the bear crossing State Road 436 and he was last seen going into a wooded area.
According to FWC, bears are more active during this time of year as younger bears start to leave their mothers’ home range.
Typically, if bears aren’t able to find food, they’ll move away on their own, FWC officials explained. As a result, officials also cautioned residents that if they see a bear, they should “give it space” — never approach it, and never feed it.
The agency provided the following advice to prevent bear encounters:
“Seeing a bear in a neighborhood is not necessarily cause for alarm. However, it is important that residents secure food attractants so that bears do not linger in the area. If a bear is not able to find food, it will move on.
To reduce conflicts with bears and other wildlife, residents should remove or secure all food attractants from around their houses and yards, including garbage, pet food and bird seed. Store garbage in a sturdy shed or garage and then put it out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before. If not stored in a secured building, modify your existing garbage can to make it more bear-resistant or use a bear-resistant container.
Businesses can secure commercial garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters. To avoid encounters between a bear or other wildlife and pets, bang on your door and flip your house lights on and off before letting your pets outside. This will give the bear (and any other wildlife) time to leave the area before your pets come outside. If you do not have a fenced yard, keep your dog on a short leash when taking them outside.
To learn more about bears and how to avoid conflicts with them, visit MyFWC.com/Bear or BearWise.org.”Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
If you feel threatened by a bear; find a sick, injured, dead or orphaned bear; or witness someone harming bears or intentionally feeding them, contact FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.
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