Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Florida: Bear shot at after it tries to break into Lee County home

Lee County, Florida

From the Naples News of October 12, 2009
Bear shot at after it tries to break into Lee County home

A bear was shot at by a Buckingham man Sunday night after the critter tried to get inside his house three times, state wildlife authorities said.

The bear tried first to go in a back door and left. It then tried the garage, left the area and came back again at the front door, said Gary Morse, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman. Each time, the family called 911 during the events that took place between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

Fish and Wildlife Lt. Michael Frantz filed a report stating that the man, who lives in the 6100 block of Higgins Boulevard, fired three rounds at the bear, which fled into the woods.

No trace of the bear has been found. Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies and wildlife officials could not find a blood trail and do not believe the bear was shot. The man does not face criminal charges for firing at the bear, Morse said.

The bear, estimated to be about 6 feet and weighing roughly 200 pounds, may be the same bear seen trying to get into a Fort Myers Shores house and Dumpster diving in the area. And it could be the same bear that was spotted eating pet food near a farm in North Fort Myers recently.

“The problem is going to get worse unless the community at-large secures garbage,” Morse said.

Some ways to reduce human-bear encounters is to use bungee cords to secure trash can lids, or keep garbage cans inside a shed or fenced-in area. Wildlife officials say pet food should never be kept outside and that bird feeders need to be placed in an area where bears cannot reach. Bear-resistant containers also are available.

If anyone sees a bear Dumpster diving, getting into trash or showing aggressive behavior, call the wildlife alert hotline at 800-404-FWCC

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