Bears not hibernating this winter as complaints reach 500 in a m

Bears not hibernating this winter as complaints reach 500 in a month

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Florida Fish and Wildlife statistics show that there was an increase in human-bear encounters last month according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Experts say that bears are not hibernating this season due to the warm winter weather. Residents in Orange, Seminole, Lake and Volusia counties have complained more than 500 times about bears the paper said. That is the most in Florida and triple the average for the Central Florida area.

Florida black bears usually slowdown in winter months as a survival strategy. That's not the case this winter. The bears are rummaging through trash, tearing down pool screens, climbing on cars and just being too close for comfort.

Some of the complaints are a result of fear after a Longwood woman was attacked and mauled in early December. She was walking her dogs on Markham Woods Rd near Longwood. Wildlife officials have called it the most serious bear attack ever in Florida.

Officials are searching for a solution to this growing problem.

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