Bear Sighting Near UCF

posted by Alan McBride - 

Authorities in east Orange County issued a warning after a bear was sighted near the University of Central Florida campus this week.

Officials reminded people to be mindful of the animals and make no attempts to interact with any they may come across.

Wildlife authorities note that, with the arrival of autumn, bear appetites increase as they begin to prepare for the upcoming winter. 

So they're out looking for food this time of year.

To be ready for the leaner winter months, bears require around 20,000 calories a day and wildlife officials say they will eat anything that’s convenient. 

Accessing unsecured garbage often provides more calories in a shorter amount of time than what a bear can get from foraging in the woods. 

Those unsecured garbage cans attracts bears into areas where people live and work, which can lead to potentially dangerous situations.

Wildlife officials say the best way to avoid conflict with bears is to make sure that they can't get into garbage or any other kind of scraps or pet food.

If a bear can't get to any food, he or she will leave the area and look for greener pastures.

In Florida, it is illegal to intentionally feed bears or leave out food or garbage that will attract bears and cause human-bear conflicts.

If you see or suspect that someone is feeding or attracting bears, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

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