A black bear killed a dog in a backyard in Gulf Breeze Sunday according to a statement from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released to Monday.
According to the statement, shortly after 10 p.m., FWC dispatch was notified of an incident involving a black bear and a dog in Gulf Breeze. An adult female bear with cubs was in the area of 966 Vestavia Way in Gulf Breeze when it encountered a dog in the resident’s back yard.
The incident resulted in the dog being killed by the adult bear. A nearby resident shot in the direction of the bear, but FWC reports they do not believe the bear was seriously injured.
FWC law enforcement responded to the scene and documented the incident.
“We take this situation seriously and our hearts go out at the loss of a pet. FWC law enforcement will continue to canvas the area. FWC biologists will set a trap in the area to address the situation,” spokesperson Bekah Nelson wrote in the statement.
Residents are advised to report conflict behavior to FWC’s regional office at (850) 265-3676. Emergency calls or reports of illegal activity should go to 911 or FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
People can help prevent interactions with bears by removing attractants such as garbage, pet food and bird seed and cleaning their grills.
To keep bears away from your home and neighborhood, follow these simple tips:
- Secure household garbage in a sturdy shed, garage or a bear-resistant container.
- Put household garbage out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before.
- Secure commercial garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters.
- Protect gardens, beehives, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
- Encourage your homeowners association or local government to institute bylaws or ordinances to require trash be kept secure from bears.
- Feed pets indoors or bring dishes indoors after feeding.
- Clean grills and store them in a secure place.
- Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.
- Pick ripe fruit from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground.
- Hang bird feeders at least 10 feet from the ground and 4 feet from any attachment point, like pole or tree.
- Using shelled seed and seed mixes without red milo helps reduce waste materials from building up below feeders.
- Place a tray below the feeder to catch any spilled seed or only put feeders out during daylight hours.