Black bear spotted in Bradenton

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Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013 10:12 pm | Updated: 9:35 pm, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

BRADENTON-- A homeowner in East Bradenton got quite a surprise early Thursday morning when a black bear was spotted on her property.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, and does not want her address published for the bear's own safety, was woken up by her dog barking around 4am. She picked up her camera and snapped two photos of the bear pacing near the entrance to her house. The woman lives near the Panther Ridge Subdivision.

Seeing a Black Bear on the Suncoast is quite rare, says Damen Hurd, an animal expert with Wildlife Incorporated. The homeowner called Hurd later that day.

"Their numbers had been dropping dramatically. It's estimated that 100 are killed a year by cars hitting them. But with conservation efforts, the numbers are booming now. As the numbers grow, they need to move outward to new places," said Hurd.

Living near where the bear was sighted is Derrick Ross. Ross is ecstatic a bear is nearby, and why wouldn't he be? The man trains bears for movies and shows. He holds several on his property, and no, he's not missing one.

"It does make me pretty happy to hear there are wild bears in this area again. There used to be, but that was like 50-60 years ago," said Ross.

Florida Black Bears are mainly found in the central and northern part of the state. Most of the bears are quite timid, and don't pose a huge threat to humans, Ross said. To avoid a bear coming on your property, make sure your yard is maintained and your garbage cans have lids on them.

Hurd will discuss the idea of relocating the animal with FWC officials and the homeowner this week.

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  • beasley posted at 2:50 pm on Mon, Jul 29, 2013.

    beasley Posts: 1

    I live in Myakka City on Verna Bethany near Gopher Hill and the bear visited us on Sat night around 9:45. The 300 lb bear took down 1 out of 8 bird feeders and made his way out to our front porch as he seemed more interested in our cat which was out there. After opening the front door and seeing his nose up against the screened door I proceeded to yell, clap and scream to get him to leave. He did not want to leave. We fired a warning shot near him and he high tailed it off to the East.

    This bear has simply lost his way, probably due to all the high water. I hope people respect him passing thru our properties so he can make his way back to his home area.

  • IMHO posted at 9:54 pm on Sat, Jul 27, 2013.

    IMHO Posts: 7

    "Bear on the loose" is not is not an escaped pet or zoo animal...our habitats just happen to overlap as we take up more of theirs

  • VonAsgard posted at 6:42 pm on Sat, Jul 27, 2013.

    VonAsgard Posts: 1

    I have property in eastern Manatee County, not too far east from the Panther Ridge subdivison where a black bear was recently photographed. Four years ago, a good friend in eastern Manatee County, showed me photos of a large black bear that he had been watching for some time. He told me that he was trying to protect the bear and making sure no one disturbed it.

    On my own land, I regularly see raccoons, o'possums, deer, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes. I recently spotted a black bear that may, or may not, be the same bear seen in Panther Ridge. Two years ago, a young Florida Panther ran across the road in front of my pick-up near the northern rear enterance to Myakka State Park. While eastern Manatee County has somewhat developed, wildlife still roams freely.

    I am a long time NRA member, lifetime hunter, and avid comservationist who appreciates the diversity of wildlife. I have joined with other likeminded outdoorsmen for the conservation of our Florida wildlife. Ultimately, however, it is up to outdoorsmen, conservation organizations, and us individual land owners to protect habitate and husband the future of our fauna.


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