A Bear Of A Problem In Franklin County

By: Andy Alcock
By: Andy Alcock

Christmas Eve night, Kim Crum left this sliding glass door slightly ajar for her daughter because it's tough to open.

Shortly after her daughter left, she had a visitor and it wasn't Santa Claus.

"I look at the door and I see a bear nose sticking in my door," said KIm.

The bear had company.

Kim says when she called Fish and Wildlife to report it, she was told no one was on call because it was Christmas Eve.

"I would love to be home with my family, instead of being trapped in here by two bears at my front door and one at the back," said Kim.

Kim says it's not her first encounter of the bear kind.

She says bears come to her Lanark Village home close to the Gulf of Mexico nightly.

Kim says once, a cub grabbed her dog Dodger.

"If we wouldn't have came out and my dog wouldn't have been raising Cain, my dog would be gone today," she said.

According to Sarah Barrett of Fish and Wildlife's bear management team, the Florida Black Bears are attracted to the garbage.

Kim's neighbor Dave Baker was so tired of picking up his garbage each day, he stashed it in the back of his truck.

But a bear found it and smashed out his window.

"I came out one morning and found my truck that way, so that was my fault, not the bear's fault," said Baker.

Since then, Baker has a new bear proof garbage can.

Fish and Wildlife tried to an electric fence around Kim's garbage hut.

It hasn't worked.

"They have more rights than I do."

Although bears are no longer on Florida's threatened species list, it's illegal to kill one.

Barrett tells us a biologist will be setting up a trap outside Kim's home.

If its caught, it will be hit with rubber bullets and paint guns to let it know not to come back.

But Barrett says that hard release is no guarantee it won't return.

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