FWC transitions to surveillance in Lake Mary neighborhood
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Media contact: Greg Workman, 352-239-2763
Based on staff observations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is transitioning efforts from trapping to monitoring in the Lake Mary neighborhood where a bear attacked a woman.
FWC biologists and law enforcement offers will remain in the neighborhood working with residents and local authorities.
The FWC had to take action against bears that demonstrated they were habituated to people and human food. In order to maintain public safety, these bears were put down.
There are several ways to reduce the chances of human/bear conflict. People should secure garbage until the morning of pickup, and not allow pet food, bird seed or other food items be left out overnight. Most importantly, residents should never intentionally feed bears.
“Not only is feeding bears illegal, it is dangerous for people as well as bears,” said FWC Bear Program coordinator Dave Telesco. “Feeding bears leads to their deaths, whether it’s because they are more likely to be hit by cars, poisoned or shot by frustrated neighbors or killed by the FWC to protect public safety.”
Citizens with any information regarding the intentional feeding of bears should contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). If you supply relevant information you may be eligible for a reward, and you can remain anonymous.
The FWC reminds residents in this area to be aware of their surroundings and always supervise pets and children while outdoors. The FWC relies on residents to report threatening bear behavior. Residents should contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline to report any threatening bear activity.
If you encounter a bear at close range, remain standing upright and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice. Back up slowly toward a secure area, and be sure you are leaving the bear a clear escape route. Stop and hold your ground if your movement away seems to irritate instead of calm the bear. Do not run or play dead. If a black bear attacks you, fight back aggressively.