FWC Begins Efforts Thursday Night to Trap Bears in Ave Maria
Published on Thursday, 09 August 2012 20:33
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has yielded to pressure from residents and developers in Ave Maria and plans to begin significant efforts Thursday night to trap black bears that have been roaming the community.
Cee Cee Marinelli of Barron Collier Cos. said that FWC biologist Kathleen Smith told her Thursday afternoon that three traps will be set in Ave Maria, two in Emerson Park, where the bear has been spotted most frequently, and one in Hampton Village.
Residents intensified their efforts Thursday to get the FWC to act, calling and sending emails to numerous public officials at the county and state levels. There were reports of two different bears in Ave Maria Wednesday night, at least one of which chased a resident in Emerson Park.
Everyone in town is advised to do everything possible to ensure that other food sources that might attract the bear, such as garbage, pet food or bird seed, are not available to the bears so that they will be taking the bait in the traps rather than feasting on other items.
Ms. Smith of the FWC also strongly advises that if a bear is caught in the trap, no efforts should be made to approach it and to report the capture to the FWC Wildlife Hotline at 888-404-3922. No one should enter the trap for any reason, or tamper with the bait, she added.
Ms. Marinelli also said that a meeting is scheduled for Friday morning with county officials, representatives of the FWC and the trash hauling company to beging tackling the issue of reducing "bear attractants," primarily garbage outside businesses and residences. Among the matters for discussion, she said, is setting a pick-up schedule that would enable residents to put garbage out in the morning, rather than the night before, as well as the acquisition of more bear-resistant garbage containers.