FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Franklin County authorities are still concerned about at least one bear, and maybe more, roaming around the county.
Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith said the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission has had a ‘cavalier’ attitude about black bears, like the one that was seen walking through a cemetery this weekend.
“We would call FWC, their communications center, and ask for help and a lot of times my dispatchers were kind of blown off it wasn’t taken seriously by them,” Franklin County Sheriff A.J Smith said.
But the Bear Management Program Coordinator David Telesco said that’s not the case.
“While bears in Franklin County are fairly common a bear in town is not, our officers went out, we did not see the bear on Saturday and Sunday and it’s not a surprise given the calls we’ve had, it looks like a young male, this is about the right time of the year to be wandering away from their mothers,” Telesco said. “There’s really not much we can do as far as putting it in a trap and trying to move it. It’s trying to move its way out on its own. It’s not doing anything concerning, just its presence is concerning on its own.”
Residents in an Eastpoint neighborhood, Las Brisas, said they often see bears around their yards and porches.
“The bears that are living with people, that’s an issue that the biologists with FWC need to take very seriously, come in here and look at it come in here and talk to the people in the neighborhoods where they are affected,” Smith said. Let’s come up with a solution to do something with these bears before it becomes a situation like in Alligator Point where a deputy had to go in and shoot a bear in someone’s home.”
Smith spoke with a bear biologist on Monday and said they’re working on a solution.
If you see a bear there are some things you can do.
“Do not approach it and try to take a selfie, don’t feed it just give it some space,” Telesco said. “The big thing is if you are walking the dog don’t let the dog go after it. The bear is just trying to find its way, it’s finding a new place to be. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like Apalachicola is where he wants to be because he is not settling down in any one place.”