FWC educates the public on bear safety with new videos

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

(WFLA) – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is releasing two new videos for the public to watch regarding bear safety.

One of the videos shows techniques residents can and should use if they come into contact with bears. Some include backing away slowly and using an assertive voice.

“The No. 1 cause of conflict with bears is unsecured trash and other attractants, such as pet food, barbecue grills and birdseed,” said Dave Telesco, who leads the FWC’s Bear Management Program. “As bears spend more time in neighborhoods, they begin to lose their natural fear of people, which can lead to dangerous encounters. These videos highlight steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of both bears and humans.”

In June 2016, a black bear became stuck in a tree at a home near Busch Gardens in Tampa. Residents there can’t forget that incident. They tell us they were frightened because bears can be violent.

By watching these videos, the FWC hopes it will help the public react in an appropriate way that will keep both them and the bears safe.

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