Florida woman records close bear encounter, leads to warning from state agency

A Seminole County woman recorded her close encounter with a black bear, prompting Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to warn residents that the bears have become too accustomed to people.

The woman was sitting in her driveway in the Markham Woods area of the county, which FWC said has an abundant bear population.

The video shows the bear walking up to the woman, sniffing her knee and coming close to her face, before calmly walking away.

No one was injured.

The video was turned over to FWC Tuesday.

FWC said bear biologists are conducting a site visit to check on bears in the area.

FWC officers want to urge residents to never get close to bears or allow bears to get close to humans.

“While we are glad that no one was injured during the interaction captured on video, if this was an area where children were playing, the situation could have quickly turned tragic,” FWC said in a release. “People should be mindful that black bears are highly unpredictable, wild animals.”

FWC said there have been four people seriously injured by bears in Seminole County since 2012.

“The video of this very large bear demonstrates that it has obviously lost its fear of humans, most likely because it has learned that food is available in this area,” FWC said. “We urge Floridians to contact us immediately if they see a bear who is exhibiting this kind of behavior. Normal bear behavior is to avoid people.”