FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Some local animals are making life unbearable for some Franklin County residents.
“There’s lots of bears that need to be trapped and removed because they’re still going on people’s porches or going in their houses,” Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith said.
Smith is working with Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Executive Director Roger Young to relocate the bears in and around the community.
“I was like, this is unacceptable,” Smith said. “So he’s assured me that they’re going to take additional steps in the very near future to trap more of these bears, asking put more traps out, less catch more bears.”
In the meantime, Franklin County residents said the bears continue to be a problem.
“I went out to the trash can and went to put my trash in, and there was a bear in the trash can,” Franklin County resident Hannah Barnett said. “So I was like face to face with the bear, handed it my trash bag, and I ran back inside because I was by myself. And I had nothing to protect myself either. I didn’t even think about it. Because you just walk into the trash can.”
Franklin County Mother Brittany Cooper said the bears are posing a safety threat to children.
“We have younger children that get on the busses during the day, and they’ll [bears] come out when our children get off the busses,” Cooper said.
Smith said he shares the residents’ concerns.
“I guess I kind of got a little upset when I saw the picture of the six bears in one dumpster over in Carrabelle,” Smith said.
Fish and Wildlife said they have already trapped 19 bears. Despite this Smith said the level of complaints is still too high.
Additional traps will be set in response.
Smith said if you have an unsafe encounter with a bear to contact the sheriff’s office either by calling 911 or the non-emergency number at (850) 670 – 8500.