58.9 F
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Bear watching season at Ocala National Forest, other state parks

It is bear watching season across state parks, including the Ocala National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service of Florida is warning residents to maintain safe distance while watching and photographing bears during the season.

Black bear in tree
It’s bear watching season across Florida state parks

The service recommends watching bears by pulling off the road, staying in your vehicle, and maintaining at least 100 yards between you and the bear. Stopping on highways is “illegal and puts you and your loved ones at risk of death from large high-speed vehicles that cannot stop quickly,” reads a social media post from the U.S. Forest Services.

Black bear lying down in tree
This black bear was spotted taking a rest in a tree

“Bears are foraging on the abundant acorns along forest roads. This is an excellent food for them to prepare for the winter,” continues the post.

The service asks anyone that witnesses others feeding bears or a bear jam (i.e., when people stop on a major highway to view a bear), to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922 or visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife alert webpage.

Do you have photo or video of a black bear that you’ve seen in Marion County recently? Share it with us through our Contact Us page.