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Friday, January 27, 2023

Belleview Police cite recent bear sightings in warning to community

Belleview Police Department is asking residents to stay alert after recent bear sightings in the community.

The department made the announcement recently through its social media channels.

“We have been made aware of several recent bear sightings in Belleview,” reads the Facebook post. The department says that it sought guidance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who says that it is the time of year when bears start packing on calories and often visit neighborhoods looking for trash cans.

In August, this bear was videoed picking up a trash bag at a residence in Marion Oaks and making a meal out of it.

The post from the police department continues to advise residents of basic guidelines for bear safety.

In recent weeks, dozens of residents have shared photos and videos with Ocala-News.com of bears wandering across driveways and yards in Marion County in search of trash cans filled with food.

“Never intentionally feed or approach bears, always keep your distance. Secure all food, garbage and recycling, as all of these can draw the interest of a hungry bear,” reads the post. It suggests removing bird feeders when bears are active in the area, as they may  be attracted to seeds and grains.

“Feed pets inside whenever possible and never leave uneaten pet food outside,” continues the post.

The police advise all residents to also clean and securely store grills, as the food particles and smells left over after cooking can attract bears.