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Bear sightings alarm residents in wake of attack

Posted: 6:56 PM, Jan 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-16 23:56:14Z

Residents in the Naples Manor neighborhood are on edge after sightings of a large bear getting into  trash, just a week after a bear attacked a man in North Naples. 

"It is huge," said Maria Guerrero, who lives on Carlton Street in the neighborhood near Lely High School. "When I saw his face, I got the chills."

Guerrero said she outside, when she almost stumbled upon the bear nosing through her trash Monday night.

"I got scared and ran back into the house," she said. "If you had just seen the size of the bear...it was very scary. We don't feel safe anymore."

One block over on Martin Street, Irene Chavez said that while she hasn't seen the bear, she woke up Monday morning to find so much trash in the street that it was impossible to drive through it all.

"And, you can hear the dogs barking all night," Chavez said. "So we know for sure there's something out there."

Just last week, a bear attacked a North Naples man who was walking his dog at Amberton Townhomes near Immokalee Road and Interstate 75. The attack left claw marks on the man's face.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers set bear traps for the bear, but so far it hasn't been caught.

Guerrero feels bad that humans have taken much of the bears' habitat, but now she's worried for her grandchildren.

"They used to play (outside)," she said. "They don't do it anymore."

FWC officials told Fox 4 that bears typically slow down in the winter, which can make it difficult to lure them into traps. FWC also recommends waiting until morning to take out trash.