Owners spot black bear again in Pinellas County

OLDSMAR, FLA.- – The last sighting of a black bear was on Thursday, June 3 in Oldsmar.

The bear has been seen in three counties. The first sighting was reported in Hernando County. Others later reported the bear in Pasco County.

The most recent sightings were in Pinellas County.

Yeng Yang said his home security camera captured the bear around 7:00 a.m. Thursday.

“My wife was on a neighborhood Facebook page. There were notifications about a bear sighting, so that’s when I checked my camera,” Yeng Yang said.

Jennifer Rothe said the bear showed up on her security camera on Wednesday night. She lives in Safety Harbor.

The young bear was also seen in Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. The park reopened on Thursday after closing earlier this week.

“I hope he finds where he is going,” Yang said.

Mike Orlando, deputy bear program coordinator FWC, said black bears are looking for a new home this time of year.

“We think it’s a juvenile bear that scatters. We don’t know if it’s male or female, but they are usually males and they have probably separated from their family group. , have left their mother and are just trying to find a new place to live, ”says Orlando.

Orlando said it was rare to see bears in Pinellas County.

“There isn’t a lot of bear habitat in Pinellas County. Tampa, St. Petersburg isn’t the best bear habitat in the state,” he said.

Orlando thinks the bear is probably lost. He urges people to leave him alone and not to feed him.

“I would say probably Ocala and to a lesser extent the Chassahowitzka population, one of those two populations is probably where it came from, more likely Ocala,” he added.

He said the bear behaved well.

“He doesn’t engage with people. He doesn’t go into the garbage.”

“I think he took a wrong turn. I think he probably ended up at night in an increasingly populated area, more and more populated. He’s probably desperately trying to find a way out. get out of it, lots of humans in an area. He probably got lost. They can’t read maps like we do, “he said.

Orlando said FWC has set a trap in Pinellas County, but trapping efforts are not always successful because bears do not stay in one place for long.

If the bear is trapped, FWC said it will move it.

FWC officials encourage the public to report bear sightings in the Safety Harbor area to the FWC Southwest Regional Office by phone at (863) 648-3200.

For more information on black bears visit: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/bear/.

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