Black bear strolling through popular Naples area

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A bear meandering around a Collier County neighborhood was possibly first spotted in Naples Bay and has since made its way around Southwest Florida. The bear has been spotted a couple more times since last week, the latest of which was taking a casual stroll down Fifth Avenue in downtown Naples.

The bear has started to worry locals despite it not acting as a threat to the public in all documented accounts.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they are not actively looking for the bear. Although FWC explained they have wildlife have wildlife biologists tracking the bears’ movements.

It’s unclear if the bear seen on the boat was the same as the one seen on Fifth Avenue in Naples.

Locals have differing opinions on seeing the bear.

“The bears were here first. This was their territory before mankind moved in,” said Drew Tepper, a SWFL local.

“It hasn’t gone near people hasn’t gone after anyone. So I feel pretty safe with the bear coming in and going,” said Naples resident Myki Romano.

It’s important to remember when encountering wildlife anywhere, but specifically wildlife that can b potentially dangerous, that they are wild.

“We live in a jungle. It’s their jungle, we need to learn how to coexist. Having these beautiful bears around, being able to enjoy that experience is important. So just try to stay as far away as possible and leave the wild the wild,” said wildlife whisperer Ned Bruha.

FWC explained it’s common for bears to be more active in the Fall. Normally they are moving through populated areas in search of food.

Call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 to report any sightings.

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