Bear cub approaches people in Naples’ Pelican Marsh neighborhood

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Pelican Marsh bear
Bear in Pelican Marsh. (Credit: Jim Roberts)

A man came across a bear in the Pelican Marsh neighborhood in Naples on Sunday.

Pelican Marsh bear
Bear in Pelican Marsh. (Credit: Jim Roberts)

Above is the cub that was caught on camera in Pelican Marsh. At first, the bear showed curiosity about Jim Roberts and his neighbors.

“The bear seemed very docile at first. And then as more people got here, more talking, all of a sudden, he got a little aggressive and tried to climb up this tree and get over here,” said Roberts.

Bears are on the move these days. This bear was seen Sunday around dinner time.

It comes just days after another cub took a stroll down the sidewalk at Mercato Shops in North Naples.

“In Pelican Marsh, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a bear. We’ve seen black panthers before but never bears,” said Roberts.

Mary-Kathryn Mitchell is a carnivore keeper at the Naples Zoo. She said there are more than 3,000 black bears in Florida, meaning they could be close by even if you don’t live near the woods.

“If you see a bear, don’t approach it. You want to back away slowly, do not run from the bear because that could make them try to pursue you,” said Mitchell.

Her best advice, yell loudly. That helps scare them away.

“They don’t really like loud noises. And when they see humans trying to look big and waving their arms and shouting at them, they’ll most likely go away,” said Mitchell.

Why are bears on the move these days? Mitchell said this is the time of year when cubs declare their independence from their mama bear.

“So, they are testing where can I establish my territory because males won’t live with other males necessarily. So, they need to find their own room to live,” Mitchell said.

That baby bear eventually moved on without hurting himself or anyone else.

If you see a bear who won’t leave, the best thing to do is give Florid Fish and Wildlife a call, and they can bring the bear to a different location safely.

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