LONGWOOD, Fla. — A woman in Seminole County was injured by a mother black bear early on Tuesday morning, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says.
According to FWC, the woman was letting her dog out just after midnight in The Springs neighborhood when the pet came across the bear and her two cubs.
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FWC says the woman sustained a non life-threatening injury to her ankle. The dog was not injured.
Black bears are more active at this time of year, FWC says, because they're preparing for winter. FWC is canvassing the area and say a trapping effort is underway.
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FWC offers numerous tips for co-existing with black bears on their website. These are just a few of those tips.
To keep bears away, follow this advice:
- Secure household garbage in a shed, garage or a wildlife-resistant container (like a bear-resistant container or caddy).
- Put household garbage out on morning of pickup rather than the night before.
- Secure commercial garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters.
- Protect gardens, beehives, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
- Encourage your homeowners association or local government to institute ordinanceson keeping foods that attract wildlife secure.
- Feed pets indoors or bring in dishes after feeding.
- Clean grills and store them in a locked, secure place.
- Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.
- Pick ripe fruit from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground - bears love fruit!
- Screened enclosures ARE NOT SECURE and WILL NOT keep bears out.
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Black bears are extremely intelligent and seeing one first-hand can be an amazing experience, but once they lose their natural fear of people FWC says there is often little hope to make the bear wild again.
FWC advises all residents to live BearWise and work to prevent human-bear conflict because when they happen, bears and humans both lose.
For more, visit the FWC's website.