Black Bear sighted in Nocatee

FWC offers tips to minimize a potential encounter


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) says a black bear recently sighted in Nocatee’s Greenleaf Village has not yet been found by its bear management team.

Until it is located, the agency is encouraging residents to take precautions to minimize chances of an encounter with the animal. If such an encounter does occur, FWC Public Information Officer Greg Workman said residents should refrain from approaching the bear or attempting to take pictures or videos.

“Give it its space and let it move through,” he said.

Most importantly, Workman said, those who see the bear should call FWC’s regional headquarters at (352) 732-1225.

He noted that the animal is most likely strolling through the area in search of food, so residents should also eliminate any food sources or trash that may be sitting outside of their homes. Workman said FWC doesn’t expect the bear to stay in the area, but if sightings continue, the agency will have to establish the reason behind its presence and relocate it back to the wild if necessary.

Although bears don’t frequent this area, Workman said the bear population in Florida is robust and growing, and that this particular bear could have come from anywhere.