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Limping bear seen struggling to roam in Golden Gate Estates

Bear sightings aren’t new in Southwest Florida. But a homeowner spotted a bear limping through a yard in his Golden Gate Estates community.

Larry Greenberg calls that Golden Gate Estates neighborhood for the last 20 years. Greenberg knows he shares the green space with plenty of four-legged creatures.

“Seen a couple of porcupines, obviously lots of common things like squirrels and on several occasions a bear!” Greenberg said.

There was a bear caught roaming a yard off Weber Blvd. last week.

Nancy Sparrow said she knew a bear came through.

“He cleaned up the whole road,” she said while laughing.

When Sparrow saw everyone’s trash cans knocked over on her morning walk, she made a quick decision.

“I cut it short before I went to the canal,” Sparrow said, “because I was afraid he was still out there.”

The bear was not only hungry, but he was also hurt.

Win Everham, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, said while the injured bear did not look aggressive, it is in any animals’ instinct.

“I’ve picked up mice and had them bite me. I’ve picked up small snakes and had them bite me. They’re just scared,” Everham said. “So a big animal like that’s in pain, I’d be really careful about not getting too close.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said if the bear can move and its condition does not become worse, it will let it be. However, if the injury becomes worse, it will attempt to catch him and evaluate those injuries. The agency said it does not usually rehabilitate adult black bears.

Meanwhile, Greenberg and other neighbors said they know to keep their distance.

“It’s really hard to tell, but not limping around it didn’t,” Greenberg said. “But I think all bears can be aggressive if they feel threatened.”

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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