Officials warn residents to remove trash to keep black bears out of neighborhood



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Fish and wildlife officers went door to door in a Volusia County neighborhood warning people about the dangers of black bears on Wednesday.

Two were caught on a home surveillance system meandering though people's yards in DeLand several days ago.

The officers have a simple message for residents: keep your trash in a garage or in a place where it won't attract the bears.

They handed out notices to get the point across.

"It's just getting ridiculous around this neighborhood," said neighbor Greg Mapp.

Mapp's dog was killed in July, and Mapp was attacked by a bear.

"Earlier that day the bear swiped at me," he said.

Mapp told WFTV he saw a bear rummaging through a trash can along Oak Street in DeLand and went to investigate.

"The bear reached up and did a swipe like, 'This is my trash can,'" he said.

Those trash cans appear to be the big problem in this neighborhood.

Florida Wildlife Commission officers and biologist went door to door with notices, warning at least 200 residents to keep garbage cans in garages and not in the open where they can easily lure bears.

"Moving bears out of the neighborhood isn't going to solve the problem. What's going to solve the problem is getting rid of what's attracting them," said Joy Hill, an FWC spokeswoman.

Mapp hopes that solution works fast.

"We need to solve this problem so we can feel safe outside," he said.

An FWC spokeswoman told WFTV if the bears are relocated they'll simply cause havoc in other neighborhoods and new bears could simply wander into these neighborhoods as well.