Black bear spotted by residents, roaming around Franklin County

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:43 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - No lions or tigers... but there is a bear and it’s making folks in Apalachicola a little nervous. Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith said numerous bear sightings have been reported in the city.

“I think we’ve had 16 calls over the last six months, that’s not to mention we’ve had five bears hit by cars,” Smith said.

Apalachicola Resident Richard Bickel said he encountered the bear last weekend, in his backyard.

“I just put a bunch of garbage in the garbage can, I’m sure it smelled like a good meal to him,” Bickel said.

Luckily, Bickel said the bear didn’t bother him and went away.

Sheriff Smith tried to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission but didn’t get a response.

“I just want them to handle it, just come and talk to folks and give us some solutions,” Smith said.

He said he wants something to be done for the safety of the community. Until FWC can help, Sheriff Smith is urging residents to not feed it or go near it.

If you encounter a bear, call FWC at 888-404-3922 or your local police department.

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