Bella Terra Bear catches up the trash, could be caught today

Bears are still spotted in the Bella Terra neighborhood of Estero.

The bear, first seen on Saturday, was spotted through several trash cans along Velino Lane and Bella Terra Boulevard at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday

Several residents reported sightings of the bear, which does not appear to be afraid of people.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are back in the neighborhood saying they want to stay all day and catch the bear.

Matt Raczek said when they arrived they shot sacks of beans at the bear to get him out of the area. FWC officials then cleaned up trash that the bear had emptied along Bella Terra Boulevard.

On Monday the FWC was in the neighborhood setting a trap on Ardore Lane. The trap is still empty.

Wednesday is garbage day at Bella Terra, and the bear took advantage of it. At the time of the sightings in the back of the neighborhood, waste management was working in the front half of the neighborhood.

Encounter with a bear

If you encounter a bear, FWC recommends the following:

• Stand still.

• Talk to the bear in a calm but confident voice.

• Go slowly back to a safe area.

• Avoid direct eye contact as this can make a bear feel threatened.

• Do not run or make abrupt movements as this can trigger the bear’s hunting instinct.

• Don’t play dead or climb trees (bears are great climbers).

The FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline for this region is 863-648-3200.

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