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Black Bear sightings

Residents of Umatilla are no stranger to bears. However, lately we have had complaints about bears getting into garbage and feed, and we want to remind residents of what to do when you live in bear country. There have been bear sightings on Cayman Circle and South Central Avenue.

Why are bears in your neighborhood?
Bears are lured into neighborhoods when they find an easily accessible food source.  Bears that become used to getting human foods may damage property or become a threat to public safety. Common items that attract bears into neighborhoods include:
Food smells from barbecue grills, coolers, and outdoor freezers/refrigerators
Animal feed (e.g., pet food, corn, grain, seed, bird seed, livestock feed)
Gardens, compost piles, small or medium livestock (e.g., chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits)

Feeding bears, either by direct handouts or by leaving attractants such as garbage and pet food unsecured, causes bear conflicts and is against the law.

If you see a bear in your community…
Remain calm and stay away from the bear.  The mere presence of a black bear does not represent a problem.  The bear is most likely just passing through and will not linger or return if it does not find a reward such as food.  A bear may climb a tree to look for food or if it gets scared. Clear the area of people and pets and allow the bear to come down when it feels safe (usually after dark). The bear found its way into the area and it can find its way out.

If you encounter a bear at close range…

  • Do not play dead or run away
  • Back away slowly with your arms raised
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Speak in a calm and assertive voice

If you experience bear problems, please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regional office at 352-732-1225. For more information, go to

Detail Detail
City of Umatilla, 1 South Central Ave, PO Box 2286, Umatilla FL 32784
Phone: (352) 669-3125   Fax: (352) 669-8313