Bears lurking in Seminole County neighborhoods

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Residents in a Seminole County neighborhood said there has been a bear lurking around.

A viewer sent WFTV photos of the black bear in the Buckingham Estates near Markham Woods Wednesday night.

WFTV reporter Bianca Castro asked wildlife officials whether they need to do something to keep bears out of the trash and away from homes.

A resident said she was greeted by a bear when she opened her front door.

It's the latest example of bears getting too close for comfort and forcing some to change their habits.

"I would hate to have to get in my car and drive to the bus stop. It's like a block away, but that might be what we have to do if he doesn't leave," said resident Connie Gellner.

Wildlife officials said 60 percent of the bear complaints they get are connected to garbage, because bears dig in trashcans that are easily accessible.

Bear proof trashcans can help, but since Seminole County Solid Waste officials don't provide trashcans to customers, it is up to residents to buy the more expensive bin.

Resident Paul Mills said he bear-proofed his trashcan and it has kept the giant animals away.

"It'll keep all critters out. It don't have to be a bear, it can be a dog or whatever wants to scatter trash all over the place, so I think it does its job by keeping the lid shut when it's knocked over," said Mills.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials estimate that 1,000 bears live in the central Florida region.