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Could it be the same animal?


A black bear tried to get into an Oldsmar woman’s trash can Thursday night.

On Saturday morning, while wildlife officers were trying to find him, a bear crept through an apartment complex on Tampa Shores Road, more than seven miles away.

Forrest Rothschild, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said it could be the same bear. Adult bears can travel up to 15 miles per day.

“I was really shocked. I’ve been in Florida since 1988 and I’ve never seen a bear here,” Yan Li told The Times on Saturday. Her Ring camera captured the animal at the bottom of her driveway in Oldsmar’s Bay’s End neighborhood.

“It was as big as a trash can. I was shaking.”

Last year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received 7,298 phone calls about the matter Bear sightings. Biologists say the animals are most active in the spring and early summer when they reproduce.

“Something similar happened last year, at about the same time, at about the same place,” Rothschild said. In June 2021, officials closed it Philip Park In the safety port After a bear was seen there.

State officials estimate that Florida’s black bear population has increased from a few hundred in the 1970s to more than 4,000 today.

Biologists say bears are shy and usually avoid people. They never killed anyone in Florida. But they have bitten and scratched people, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.

It is illegal to kill a bear. But you can shoot them with paintballs, slingshots and bear spray. “People in other states have successfully fended off black bear attacks using rocks, sticks, or even their bare hands,” the site says.

If you see a bear, experts advise not to move towards it. If it is close, remain standing, speak calmly and firmly to the bear, and move away slowly. Avoid eye contact. If the bear seems bothered by your movement, stop and stay in one place. Do not make any sudden movements, play dead, run, climb a tree, surprise the bear, approach it, or try to feed it.

Could it be the same animal?

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To report a bear sighting, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Southwest Regional Office at (863) 648-3200.

Lee has not seen the bear since Thursday. But her husband carried a cane at night when he walked the husky.

As of Saturday, hunters were trying to catch the bear that was in a tree near Town ‘n’ Country.



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