Last Sunday, two curious black bears were caught on a security camera stumbling around a front porch in Florida. The video starts with one bear approaching the porch by walking between two parked sedans in the driveway. Its fellow furry friend is already on the porch, causing a commotion as it knocks something over and creates a loud noise. The noise outside then causes the dogs inside to start barking.
Bettina Brown is the homeowner in Apopka, Florida. She was excited to capture the curious – and apparently ravenous – pair on her front porch. “They, unfortunately, dragged out all the trash from one can, but that was okay with me for the experience,” she explained. The hilarious footage was shared on YouTube.
4,000 black bears reside in Florida, and some of its residents see them frequently, Fox Weather reports. To help avoid negative interactions with Florida black bears, state wildlife officials have provided the following recommendations: securing trash and protecting pets.
Black bears are more prevalent during the ‘fall shuffle’
An Apopka couple was startled when a black bear began to chase them while they were out walking their dog. Their front porch camera footage captured the moment as they ran from their driveway and into their house, with the bear close behind them. Bear biologists call the increased sightings and interactions with humans in late autumn the “fall shuffle.” As temperatures go down, bears have to move more to locate food–which brings them into closer proximity to people.
The risk of encountering a bear is highest in the spring and summer, around dawn and dusk. To avoid confrontations with bears, experts recommend removing anything that might attract them to your property or neighborhood. Wild animals are naturally attracted to residential areas for a number of reasons, the most common being garbage and bird feeders. Both of these attract bears as they provide an easy source of food.
Expert advice for black bear encounters
The National Park Service advises not to drop your pack and not to give the black bear any food. They also stress not to make direct eye contact. Another thing they suggest is to travel in groups. Finally, the NPS urges folks not to climb trees to escape wild animals. Black bears in particular are terrific climbers.
The NPS stresses that bear attacks are extremely rare. Most bears mind their own business if not antagonized by humans. However, they do have some tips in the event of an attack. Interestingly, they strongly urge people to not play dead with black bears. If you’re stuck in a bear attack, the NPS says the best bet is to get out of there as quickly as possible. They urge you to find a car or shelter if you can. If you aren’t able to flee, try to defend yourself with whatever is accessible. The NPS says to focus your blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.