FWC responds to bear incident in Daytona Beach
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) responded to an incident where a black bear injured a man in Daytona Beach at approximately 7:30 p.m. on January 19. The man received non-life-threatening injuries from a bear while attempting to protect his dogs. The man’s dogs were not injured.
FWC bear biologists and law enforcement officers immediately responded to the scene and are attempting to capture the bear. Per FWC policy, staff will humanely kill the bear if captured since it poses a threat to human safety.
While this is the second incident of a bear injuring a person within a week’s time, these incidents are extremely rare in Florida. The FWC receives up to 6,000 bear-related calls a year and have documented only 15 incidents of people being moderately to seriously injured by bears in more than 50 years.
Earlier this morning, FWC staff canvassed the neighborhood to make sure residents are aware of the incident and provide tips on avoiding conflicts with bears.
To reduce human-bear conflicts, remove or secure all food attractants from around your house and yard, including garbage, pet food and bird seed. To avoid an encounter between a bear and your dog, bang on your door and flip your house lights on and off to give the bear time to leave the area before letting your dog out. If your dog and a bear get into a fight, make noise and use your bear spray or a water hose if available. If the bear makes contact with you, fight back aggressively.
Contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) if you feel threatened by a bear; observe a sick, injured, dead or orphaned bear; or to report someone who is either harming bears or intentionally feeding them. To learn more about bears and how to avoid conflicts with them, visit MyFWC.com/Bear or BearWise.org.