Black bears tip trash cans in Florida neighborhood

Gulf Region

SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WMBB) — Residents of a Springfield subdivision have found themselves with an unwelcomed furry neighbor.

Black bears have been walking the streets and rummaging through resident trash cans of Avondale Estates.

Kelly DeBortoli has lived in the neighborhood since 2015, but she said this year has been the worst for bears.

“Last night my daughter got home from work, and she came in and woke me up and informed me that there was a bear right outside of our door and the bear had knocked over the trash can and we keep it bungee cord tied down and the bear left,” DeBortoli said. “Then at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, the bear decided he wanted more so he came back.”

DeBortoli said she has over one hundred videos of bears over the last few years. And she is not the only one with bear experiences.

“I’ve probably had about 15 encounters,” said Cody Borgeson. “My trash can was tipped over this morning. He came by last night too but I only get to see him every once in a while but I’m lucky I have a balcony. I can just open the door and come out and see him.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials told News 13 earlier this fall that this is the time of year that bears are most active.

“Bears are typically more active in the fall as they are trying to store up more calories for the winter,” said FWC spokesperson Rebekah Nelson. “They’ll typically need about 20,000 calories per day and a lot of times garbage is an easier way to consume those calories.”

FWC officials also said having bear-safe locks on your trash cans as well as removing any pet food or birdseed from your property is the best way to deter bears from your neighborhood.

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