FWC offers Spring BearWise tips to reduce conflicts with bears

ORLANDO, Fla. — With spring bringing warmer weather to Florida, bears are becoming more active.

While black bears generally are not aggressive, they have injured people in Florida.


Read: FWC searching for black bear that injured man in Daytona Beach

That’s why Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is reminding residents to follow the six BearWise Basics to avoid conflicts.

1: Never feed or approach bears.

Feeding bears can make them lose their natural fear of people. It is illegal in Florida to intentionally feed bears or leave out food or garbage that will attract bears and cause conflicts.

2: Secure food and garbage.

Store garbage in a sturdy shed or garage and then put it out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before.

3: Remove or secure bird and wildlife feeders.

Remove wildlife feeders. If wildlife feeders are left up, only put enough food out for wildlife to finish eating before dark and make feeders bear-resistant.

VIDEO: Bear, two cubs stroll down Orange County neighborhood sidewalk

4: Never leave pet food outdoors.

If feeding pets outdoors, only put food outside for short time periods and bring in leftover food and dishes after each feeding.

5: Clean and store grills.

Clean and degrease grills and smokers after each use.

6: Alert neighbors to bear activity.

If you see a bear, let your neighbors know.

Read: Bears create buzz in Seminole County neighborhood

More information on how to live with bears can be found here.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.