NewsCitrus, Hernando CountyCrystal River


FWC officials set trap for bear that lost its fear of humans

FWC says remove food sources from home
Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 23:12:25-04

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — State wildlife officials have set a trap in a Crystal River neighborhood after they believe a bear lost its fear of people.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office responded to a home off West Belfast Street early Thursday morning.

Deputies say the bear was not frightened when approached by one of their lieutenants. FWC responded to the home along with a state biologist. 

"He climbed up there and got some food out of there," said Valerie Maxted as she pointed to her bird feeder.

Valerie Maxted says she went to pick tomatoes from her garden and went inside her home. Shortly after, she heard commotion by her bird feeders.

"He was licking out of this bowl and he's almost the same height I am when he's standing up," she said.

State wildlife officials say people need to stay away from the trap. A sign on the trap warns people they may be under video surveillance.

FWC officials say it's wise for homeowners to remove food sources from around their homes. A bear can eat up to 20,000 calories a day in late summer and early fall.

Maxted said this was a good reminder not to get too comfortable.

"This is just a knock on the head to say you need to be a little bit more watchful," said Maxted. 

Residents should use caution and pay attention to their surroundings, according to FWC officials. Do not approach the bear if it is spotted. Call FWC at 888-404-3922.