• Bear stops by Altamonte Springs home for food, nap


    ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - An Altamonte Springs family thought they heard a raccoon going through their garbage, but when they checked their surveillance cameras they found out it was a 350-pound bear looking for a bite to eat.

    "Oh my lord, it is so huge," said homeowner Cathy Stricklin when describing the bear. "I have animals and grandchildren and it is just like, scary, it really is."

    Stricklin said she has 23 grandchildren who visit her regularly. She said those grandchildren were her main concern when she saw that the bear had come up a path and then up the stairs to rummage through a bag of food she left out for a food drive.

    "I guess (the bear was) looking for food, but he seemed like he was at home. He just came up to the porch and just like, took a nap," said Stricklin.

    After going through the food and taking a nap the bear strolled off, just missing the family cat.  .

    According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers, this is the time of year residents can expect to see more bears showing up as they try to consume as much food as possible, preparing them for hibernation in the winter months.

    Stricklin said she'd rather not see another bear on her porch.

    "I just would like to have him taken away from here so that we could let our dogs out and our kids out to play," said Stricklin.

    A wildlife expert suggested to Stricklin that she not leave food on her front porch.

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    Bear stops by Altamonte Springs home for food, nap