Tuesday afternoon the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) captured an adult female bear near the scene of a recent attack.
FWC staff identified this bear early on as one that demonstrated it was habituated to people and food. This is the first opportunity the FWC has had to safely capture this bear. Based on its actions and the need to maintain public safety, the bear was put down.
FWC staff will remain in the area working with residents and local authorities.
The FWC reminds residents in this area to be aware of their surroundings and always supervise pets and children while outdoors. The FWC relies on residents to report threatening bear behavior. Residents should contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) to report any threatening bear activity.
If you encounter a bear at close range, remain standing upright and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice. Back up slowly toward a secure area, and be sure you are leaving the bear a clear escape route. Stop and hold your ground if your movement away seems to irritate instead of calm the bear. Do not run or play dead. If a black bear attacks you, fight back aggressively.
Also, citizens with any information regarding the intentional feeding of bears should contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). If you supply relevant information you may be eligible for a reward and you can remain anonymous.