Bear sighting near Estero school

Posted at 7:08 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 19:08:02-04

Officers showed up to Pinewoods Elementary early Wednesday morning after school maintenance personnel spotted two bears.

This bear incident comes a couple weeks after wildlife officers carried away a bear they shot with a tranquilizer outside Three Oaks elementary.

"Our schools are built primarily in residential neighborhoods," Amity Chandler, the Lee County spokesperson said.  "In this case, our southern most schools but up to wildlife preserves and so wildlife sightings are very frequent."

Officers spent the day dumpster diving in order to see what attracted the two black bears. Florida Fish and Wildlife officer, Stewart Spoede, tells Fox 4 it appeared to be cafeteria leftovers.

"An easy meal and its full of tater tots and you know old chicken nuggets so that's what the bears like." said Spoede.

The bears who came to Pinewoods, left before students got there Wednesday.  But the timing of the Three Oaks black bear's visit to another school last month was more chaotic.

"A few weeks ago at Three Oaks Elementary, the bear was on campus during student drop off," Chandler said. "That situation makes it a little more urgent."

Officials took an urgent approach this morning at Pinewoods. They canceled all outdoor activities for kids. The challenge Lee county schools and FWC face is to keep hungry bears from coming back for seconds.

"The big thing is securing those big dumpsters," Spoede said. "If we can get those containers locked down I think we can probably solve this problem."