Before we moved down here I would not have believed there would be bears in our area of Florida. At least not until 2 years ago when the Florida black bear started leaving their usual home grounds near the Wekiva River area in search of food. We had multiple sitings last year here in the Country Club and had the pictures posted in our local newsletter to prove it. One pic had a large bear sitting on the ground atop a bird feeder he had pulled down to the ground looking for bird seed. This was a large metal pole in cement and he pulled it down flat to the ground as if it was a twig.
Last winter Harv went outside one day in the front and a man was walking his dog. He mentioned the large prints on the driveway and they both looked and they were huge bear prints. There is a conservation area with a pond and that is where they think they are living. It must have been muddy becase the prints started at the grass and came right up the driveway then swerved at the side of our house and went between ours and the house next door. We have a large pond on the golf course at the end of our lot and we assume that is where he was going. We had a lot of visitors coming around bringing friends and/or grandkids to see the paw prints which stayed until the next big rain. We were all advised that to get rid of them we had to get rid of any food. No dog food, bird food, garbage cans out at night, etc.
Well we thought that when we came down this year they wold be gone. Think again. My next door neighbour sold her house and people we know who used to live here and moved to Georgia moved back and bought her house. Sandie is an early riser as was my old neighbor Monica and she always threw our paper up to the front door for us.
Sandie has continued the tradition as she gets up at 5 when I am just rolling over for the first time. Last week at 5 she stooped to pick up our paper and heard a large growl and looked over and there was a bear. She dropped the paper and ran home. He also took off apparently when she ran. According to the local wildlife people that unless the bears attack either a pet or a human they will not try and catch them. Last winter they said a mother with cubs was here and now I believe it.
Bear sightings this summer have been for both small and 1 very large bear.
I think I will stay in after dark and stay in bed until it is light out. No problem there.