WATCH: FWC releases ‘BearWise’ videos with hope of reducing conflicts

FWC photo of a Florida Black Bear.
FWC photo of a Florida Black Bear
FWC photo of a Florida Black Bear

Are you BearWise? State fish and wildlife officials are ramping up education efforts to make sure people know how to prevent bear encounters and ensure they know what to do if they’re face to face with the large animals.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released two videos this week hoping to curb bear human conflicts

The “Cause for a Call” video outlines when and how people can reduce conflicts with bears by taking simple steps such as securing trash and other attractants.

The “BearWise Communities” video describes how to make a neighborhood “BearWise.” BearWise communities work to coexist with bears. This video educates residents on when and how to report bear conflicts or sightings, and how to secure food items that attract bears to a neighborhood.

Unsecured trash and attractants, such as bird feeders, are the number one cause for bears coming into contact with people.

The videos provide helpful information about keeping bears away and what to do if one visits your neighborhood.

“It means that I know who to call, and I know when there’s an issue, I know how to interact with a bear. I know that we can scare them away and we should keep our trash and other things secure,” said David Telesco with the FWC Bear Management Program.

FWC has received 4,630 bear related calls this year.

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