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Central Florida Bear Complaints Triple in December

January 10th, 2014 | WMFE - Central Florida black bears are not hibernating like they used to, according to new numbers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The FWC reports more than 500 calls in December from Central Florida residents describing run-ins with bears. That’s triple the usual number for this time of year.

FWC bear biologist Mike Orlando says the December 2nd bear attack of Longwood resident Susan Chalfant influenced the high number of calls, but that's not the whole story.

With the awareness that that bear incident brought to the general public through all sorts of media, we definitely had a spike in calls for the month of December,” says Orlando. “But that doesn’t specifically explain the trend upwards over the past few years.”

Orlando says bears are less inclined to hibernate if there’s food around, and they’re finding plenty to eat in trash cans and dog bowls that people leave outside their homes.

He recommends keeping those items inside as much as possible.


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