FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — A Franklin County family had a frightening start to their Friday when they found a bear fumbling around their living room.
Just before 5 a.m., officer J. Nunez rushed to a home on Pine Street to save a 95-year old woman from a bear.
Sheriff A J Smith says the woman’s son called officers to help protect his mother.
FCSO says they are still trying to determine how the bear got inside but shared a photo of window damage that happened as the bear was moving about.
The refrigerator was also destroyed.
Smith says the deputy shot the bear twice to bring the situation under control.
This isn’t the first call they’ve received recently about bears in the area.
”We had a call about a week ago about a baer at the dumpster at the Caravel RV Park," said Smith. "Even on Facebook last night I saw somebody in Carrabelle posting that a bear was in the yard. So we’re seeing a lot more of it.”
Experts with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say the bear was probably looking for food.
"The big thing to remember is, bears are just looking for easy food and if we don’t make it easy they’re not going to want to interact with us," said David Telesca, the bear management program coordinator at FWC. "So unsecured garbage, pets, food, those are the top three things that typically bring bears and that people don’t even think about that might be attracting bears."
Telesca adds that we may also be noticing more bear activity now that we’re spending more hours at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Both the son and mother on Pine Street are safe after this morning's intrusion.
Smith says FWC is currently investigating the area and trying to find a bear cub they believe could bring a mother bear to the area.
FWC says they respond to between 5,000 and 6,000 bear-related calls each year, many of them coming from the Panhandle.