EAST NAPLES, Fla - An East Naples neighborhood is on high alert after a black bear is seen roaming their streets and peering in windows.
Residents in the Falling Waters community just off Collier Boulevard and US 41 East say hey no longer feel safe walking around. They tell WINK News the bear has been wandering around the community for a year, but lately its getting too close for comfort, even peering into windows.
Haigan Gurunlian has lived in Falling Waters for 11 years. "I feel scared, especially at night when I come back anywhere and then to come face to face with the bear. What do I do? The bear has moved closer to the entrance of the homes. It was on the other side before and now it's just too close for comfort," says Gurunlian
Gurunlian says neighbors were having dinner inside after a night of grilling when all of a sudden they saw a bear peering into the window.
"It's scary to know it's getting closer," says Kathy Eldeeb, a resident of Falling Waters. "After I heard the story the other night when he was looking in the window, it's just crossed the boundaries."
"We usually don't trap bears eating trash or inside of using attractants because we wouldn't be solving the problem," says Ross Scott, a biologist for Florida Fish & Wildlife. He says there's no reason for residents to be fearful and there's little they can do to get the bear to leave the neighborhood.
"The first thing we tell people to do is secure their attractants," says Scott.
Still neighbors say they don't leave trash out because of the bears and are frustrated they're forced inside while the bear roams around their property. "I'm hoping they'll get rid of the bear so we can walk around. I like to walk everyday and I'm afraid to walk," says Gurunlian.
Scott says bears are attracted to more than just trash. He says bird food, pet food and outdoor grill equipment can all attract bears and you need to secure them beyond a screened porch or pool cage.
For more information head to myfwc.com