Volusia residents fed up with bear encounters


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla - Residents in a Deland community told WFTV several dangerous encounters with bears have them on edge.

They said over the last few days, neighbors reported two incidents.

Both incidents happened on Oak Street, just off of International Speedway Boulevard.

Greg Mapp was left with stitches in his forearm.

”I heard the bump in my trash can and I went over there and the bear was behind it and it just raised up and it just did a swipe," Mapp said.

Mapp told WFTV that was his second traumatic run in with a bear this summer. A bear killed his dog back in July.

“My Molly was 14 years old and she put up a fight,” Mapp said.

Mapp’s neighbor across the street also had his own close encounter with a bear.

Terry Barrett told WFTV a bear came into his yard, while he was grilling Sunday night and pushed the grill off the patio.

Barrett said he was afraid the bear would tip the gas grill and cause a fire or an explosion, so he said he scared it off with a Tiki torch.

“I said, 'Get out of here!' And started poking at him,” Barrett said.

But Barrett said the encounter scared him too.

"Scary, scary, scary,” Barrett said. “My heart was coming out of my chest, I don't think I'll be grilling for awhile"

Residents said Fish and Wildlife Officers told them to secure their garbage, which one resident said doesn’t work.

"It simply shoved the strap to one side, bent up the other side of the can, took what it wanted,” Wayne Struble said.

Mapp said all the neighbors are frustrated.

"We're just tired of this problem with these bears coming and they're constantly coming,” Mapp said.

Fish and Wildlife Officials had more than 300 complaints about bears in Volusia County last year.