By Michelle Meredith
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida (WESH) — A bear was spotted over the weekend on the streets of a subdivision in Seminole County.
Signs are going up to help folks get free help and report neighbors who are repeat offenders, so to speak.
“I scared him off,” a resident said.
It happened at the Retreat at Wekiva, and he was a big one.
“It was huge. It was tall and wide,” Gabby Cervantes, a neighbor, said.
Cervantes says she and her brother were working in the garage when they heard the bear before they saw it.
“We hear like big steps like a dog. And we turn and see a big guy,” Cervantes said. “We were very scared because we didn’t know how he was going to react to us.”
“It was beautiful, yeah,” another resident added.
Alex Alecci saw the bear after hearing the neighborhood kids screaming.
“And the thing just walked out nonchalantly. Turned and made its way between two houses and disappeared,” Alecci said.
Folks here in this subdivision say that it’s not completely unusual to see bears here—some homes back right up to a Black Bear Wilderness Area.
Is he the same bear caught rummaging through a garage in a nearby Sanford subdivision last week? Nobody knows. But at a neighbor’s request, “Bear Warrior” Katrina Shadix planted two signs in the Retreat at Wekiva subdivision. One is to let people know how to get free bear-proof straps for their garbage cans.
Another that says if the mood strikes you, you can report neighbors who don’t secure their trash to the FWC. This is another subdivision where a bear was seen wandering the streets. At some homes, not only did some trash cans have no lids, but garbage was in bags on the ground, ripe for the picking.
“We don’t want them getting tickets. That’s why we put signs out that say we will help you not get a ticket,” Shadix said.
So, what is the moral of the story, according to Shadix? Bears are low energy. If you make it hard to get into a garbage can, they’ll move on.
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