There have been a number of reports on local chat forums of bear sightings in downtown Orlando this week.
Orlando resident Kim Thomas posted on Nextdoor, a private social networking app, that her daughter had seen a bear around 1 a.m. near King and Formosa in College Park [Gmap].
Florida Fish and Wildlife confirmed that a bear sighting had been reported that same day on Hazel Street, just a few blocks northwest of Formosa and King.
Florida Fish and Wildlife have a FAQ bear sheet on their website, HERE.
Bears follow their noses, so store your garbage appropriately and out of reach of wild animals. Bears that become used to human environments can become “habituated”, and lose their fear of humans.
If you see a bear in your yard the FWC recommends a three pronged approach:
1) make sure you’re in a safe area
2) make sure the bear has a clear escape route (away from you)
3) scare that bear! – make noise by banging pots and pans, blow an air horn, anything that will let the bear know that it isn’t welcome in your yard.
If you see or suspect someone of feeding or attracting bears, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.