Naples residents on alert after numerous bear sightings

Bear have been roaming around Naples neighborhoods, leaving people who call those areas home a little on edge.

People living in at least four different parts of Naples have reported seeing the bears and each encounter is different. In some, the bears climb on cars, and in others, they rummage through trash cans.

“I just think they’re hungry,” said resident Christine Roberts.

“We give them a smorgasbord of dumpsters to feed from. So when they’re hungry, they come out and they eat…they’re bears!” added neighbor Dave Johnson.

Jason Bernard even caught a bear climbing to get into his dumpster.

“It does scare me. I have four children,” he said.

Since then, management in his complex have taken additional precautions by adding boards to block access to the trash.

But some worry bear interactions could just be a new way of life.

“This whole area, Immokalee Road to Ave Maria…it’s only going to get worse. They keep building, building, building. You’re going to see more and more bears interacting with the community,” Johnson said.

“It gets pretty stressful, but what are we to do? The bears are here and they’re not going to leave,” added neighbor Candice Kelly.

In one complex, a man was even attacked by a bear back in January. Since then, there haven’t been any documented bear attacks in SWFL.

But SWFL residents should remain vigilant and alert at all times.

Reporter:Oliver Redsten
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