LONGWOOD, Fla. — With fall only two weeks away, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding Florians to be on the lookout for bears foraging for food — in their trashcans, bird feeders and other places.
- Bears prepare for the winter by eating more
- That means they will go through garbage
- The FWC has more information about black bear ►
- SEE BELOW: An interactive graph of bear-related calls ▼
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports a woman was injured by a bear in a Longwood neighborhood early Tuesday morning.
The woman reported that she was letting her dog outside just after midnight Tuesday when it encountered a mama bear and two cubs.
The woman said she fell to the ground, injuring herself, and that's when the mama bear injured the woman's ankle. The injuries were not life-threatening, and the dog was not hurt.
FWC is out canvassing The Springs neighborhood to try and trap the bears and also talk to residents about reducing human-bear conflicts.
Bears More Active As They Prepare for Winter
Fall is when bears prepare for winter by eating extra calories — about 20,000 calories a day — which includes rummaging through garbage.
The FWC stated to prevent bears from coming onto your property, you should secure your garbage and other items that might attract them. Bear-proof trashcans are available to people in parts of Orange and Seminole counties, where bears are known to frequent.
One homeowner in the Springs neighborhood, who’s also on the neighborhood’s HOA board, told Spectrum News the neighborhood has bear-resistant trashcans, but the trash-pickup delays after Hurricane Dorian may have attracted bears to the neighborhood.
Central Florida is one of the most heavily bear-populated areas.
More than half of the calls to FWC about bears comes from Central Florida.
In 2018, there were 2,261 calls about bear sightings in Central Florida.
Over the last eight years, more than 50 percent of the calls were for general interactions or bears digging through garbage.