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Black Bear Takes Swim In Family Spa

LONGWOOD, Fla.,None — A black bear was caught swimming in a family's hot tub last week. The bear was just two miles from Wekiwa Springs State Park, and there are so many black bears there, that the state said they are considering removing their endangered status.

AT THE SCENE: Images Of Bear In Spa

Jenny Sue Rhoades said she never turns on her hot tub in the summer because no one uses it, but that was until last Friday morning when she looked out her window and a black bear was in the backyard.

"I should have yelled at him for leaving dirty paw prints around the spa. I went in my office and I got my camera, by the time I came back out his nose was pushed up against the screen," said Rhoades.

Then, Rhoades said the bear broke through the pool screen and started drinking the water in the spa. Rhoades said she yelled at the bear to scare it away, but it continued to lounge in the hot tub

"Once it gets to that point there are things where we may have to actually have to come and get the bear," said Mike Orlando, Florida Fish and Wildlife officer.

Florida Fish and Wildlife said there are roughly 3,000 bears in Florida and their population is growing. The state said they are considering taking them off the threatened species list.

"It will come across between just exactly where that sign is," said Roy Lukman, a Longwood resident.

Lukman lives down the street from Rhoades. Lukman said he sees the bear once a week, so now he only walks in the daylight and put up a sign to beware of a bear in the neighborhood.

"People have told me that he won't hurt you and things like that. I am still keeping my distance," said Lukman.

Rhoades said she is keeping her distance for her protection and the bear's.

"It was fun to see but I hope it doesn't come back," said Rhoades.

Florida Fish and Wildlife said that getting bear resistant trash cans and only putting out the trash in the morning of pick-up day will help prevent occurrences with bears.

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