NORTH NAPLES, Fla - A black bear going through trash in North Naples is caught on camera. It was a surprising sight for homeowners in the Pebblebrooke Lakes Community in Naples who tell WINK News they're scared for the safety of their kids.
The neighborhood is just off Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard just east of I 75 and only blocks away from Gulf Coast High School.
The North Naples neighborhood is on high alert after several black bear sightings right outside their front door.
"I came out, a little skeptical and sure enough, come around the corner. There he was, a little black bear 250-300 pounds and he just looked at me and went back to eating the food, didn't care," says Jason McLendon.
His next door neighbor Patti Antonacci adds, "I was scared because I didn't know how big the bear was, plus I have two small children and it being that close to the house made it very scary."
Antonaci's husband snapped pictures of the cub going through her neighbors trash. "If the bear decides to come out in the morning to eat, that's when all the kids are going to school."
Antonacci knows wildlife officers can't do anything about the bear but she wonders if new construction nearby is pushing the animal out of its habitat and closer to homes.
Antonacci says, "I know the bear is displaced. It has no where to go and the bear is hurt and has been hurt for awhile so it's going to find a quick food source."
FWC officials don't know the area well enough to confirm if that's the case, but they say bears will go anywhere they can find food. So, the key is to secure your trash and keep it inside at night.
Wildlife officials tell WINK News they've had about 10 bear sightings in that neighborhood in the last three months.