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Keeping Bears At Bay In Central Florida


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Bear crossing sign. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Central Floridians are experiencing more Black Bear encounters as temperatures rise and mating season begins.

Greg Workman, a bear expert with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission , says it is normal to see more bears around this time of year.

“The adults are looking for mates, generally starting around June to early August,” Workman said. “Then the younger bears, 2 year olds, they’re trying to find their own home ranges. The
mama’s kicking them out of her care, so they’re venturing out trying to find their own home range.”

Garbage cans and grills are among the top attractants for bears and other unwanted wildlife such as coyotes and raccoons.

With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Workman says disposing of leftover cooking oil, food, and other waste into bear-secure trash cans will help prevent unexpected guests from crashing the party.

“I went home yesterday, and someone in our neighborhood was grilling,” Workman said. “As soon as I got out of my vehicle that’s all I could smell. And I know if I was a bear…mmh…I would’ve went into that backyard trying to get me some of that. So, barbecue grills, you’ve just got to be more diligent in cleaning it up. Because that residue, and that smell could attract bear.”

With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Workman says disposing of leftover cooking oil, food, and other waste into bear-secure trash cans will help prevent unexpected guests from crashing the party.


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