Bears making themselves too much at home for Heathrow residents - FOX 35 News Orlando

Family of bears making themselves too at home for some Heathrow residents

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Florida is black bear country, but residents in one Lake Mary community say a family of bears has gotten too comfortable living in their streets.

Some residents of Heathrow say the bears have been sitting in driveways and on front door steps, and the people say they feel trapped in their homes.  They come in through the woods and hang out right outside near the houses. 

Over the past few months, residents said the bears have become increasingly aggressive.

"Frequently people are attempting to come into or out of their houses and they get growled at by the bear, who's not backing off or leaving," said resident Eddie Selover.

Neighbors said the mother bear and her two cubs are becoming a nuisance in their streets, threatening people and coming onto their properties.

Jennifer Milner lives in the area. She said she's had two close encounters with the bear family herself.

"It went up on its hind legs and growled at me and I backed up-- back in, put the garage door down, and it was there for at least 20 minutes," Milner added.

Selover and his neighbors have called Florida Fish and Wildlife for answers, but they're frustrated with the response.

"Rather than have someone actually saying that they're going to take some action or do something about it, they send you a bear magnet with tips on how to live with the bears," Selover said, "I don't want to live with bears."

FWC officials told FOX 35 relocating bears is difficult because there's very little space in reserves, and the bears often return to the area where they were trapped. Selover says that's not good enough.

"Someone needs to come get this bear out of my street," he said.

These bears haven't attacked anyone, but Selover believes, it's only a matter of time.

Fish and Wildlife officials said they look at every bear situation on a case by case basis to determine whether to move the bears. They said they are investigating the bear problem in this neighborhood.

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