Imagine seeing a bear hanging out near your swimming pool. Wait. That was a reality for some people in Fort Myers this morning.
A black bear was captured in a Fort Myers neighborhood off Colonial Boulevard and Deleon Street near Edison Mall Monday morning.
Witnesses who lived in the complex reported seeing the bear in or near the pool around 8 a.m. this morning. Law enforcement captured the bear after about two hours.
Maple syrup and waffles in a cage was used to capture the animal, according to witnesses.
A representative with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said the bear will be relocated.
“Bears are starting to come out of their winter dens and they’re searching for food,” Dave Telesco, who directs the FWC’s Bear Management Program, said. “Don’t give a bear a reason to hang around in your neighborhood. Remove anything that might attract a bear. If they can’t find food, they’ll move on.”
And in case you were wondering, w hile black bears generally are not aggressive, they have injured people in Florida.
- Secure household garbage in a sturdy shed, garage or wildlife-resistant container.
- Put household garbage out on morning of pickup rather than the night before.
- Secure commercial garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters.
- Protect gardens, beehives, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
- Encourage your homeowner’s association or local government to institute bylaws or ordinances to require trash be kept secure from bears.
- Feed pets indoors or bring in leftover food and dishes after feeding outdoors.
- Clean grills and store them in a secure place.
- Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.
- Pick ripe fruit from trees and bushes and remove fallen fruit from the ground.
When in doubt, you can always call the call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC.
Additional reporting by Bo Evans