PARRISH, Fla. – Bears are year around Florida residents but they usually are not found in Manatee County. Todd DeRoller told ABC 7 he has found evidence that a bear is near a Parrish sub-division.
“We were just driving by and you can see the bear hair on some of these trees,” said Todd DeRoller. He works in new home construction and has been working in the Twin Rivers subdivision for two years but just recently spotted evidence of a Black Bear near 29th Court East.
“It is the bark being torn off the trees with their claw marks and down low they are rubbing their side of the back rubbing their scent on the trees,” said DeRoller.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, some black bears rub, bite and claw marks onto trees between five and seven feet high.
“There is about 7 or 8 trees that popped up in the last week that you will see the bark being tore off by the claws,” said DeRoller.
Biologists do not know the exact reason why bears mark trees. Some believe the marks are related to male dominance or mark home range boundaries or may even help orient bears in new or little used areas.
Skip Simmons has lived in Twin Rivers for the last eight years and enjoys seeing wildlife pass through his yard.
“It is a shock to look out in your yard and see three or four deer and some fawns, hawks, it is really special.”
Simmons has also seen wild boar, bobcats and he believes bears.
“I think I have seen a couple of bears but it has been dark and they are black,” said Simmons.
DeRoller is trying to alert area residents about the bears presence in the neighborhood.
“As I see the elderly people walking their little dogs I have been trying to get the word out to be cautious because there is a bear in this area and they don’t want to get surprised or attacked.”
According to Fish and Wildlife, the mere presence of a black bear isn’t a problem and can even lead to rewarding and unique experiences. They say the best way to enjoy wildlife is by keeping it wild and away from food sources like garbage or pet food.
For more information about Florida Black Bears, go to http://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/wildlife/black-bears/