PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie residents who live off of Gatlin Boulevard had an up close and personal encounter with a black bear recently.
Although the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates there are more than 4,000 black bears in the state, residents say it is still shocking to see.
“You know you have to take a second look at it because you don’t know what it is and I saw it was a bear and I said it can’t be,” said resident Clark Boxall.
Boxall and his family were inside their home off Southwest Savage Boulevard Friday evening when their dog started growling at the back door.
“I looked out the window and saw this big, black shadow and thought, ‘Wow that’s a bear,’” said Boxall.
FWC has a section on its website dedicated to black bear sightings in Florida. There’s a map which shows just how frequently they are reported.
On Friday, before showing up in Boxall’s backyard, another woman snapped a photo of what’s believed to be the same bear just a little further south.
“Just imagine if we were out there having dinner and a big, black bear walks up. You have to be very concerned about your children,” said Boxall.
It appears others in the area have also spotted the bear. A public Facebook post on a Treasure Coast page on June 29 shows the bear climbing a fence near Interstate 95 and Gatlin Blvd.
“It’s kind of shocking to see you just don’t expect it,” said Boxall.
FWC encourages anyone who spots a bear to report it on their website for tracking purposes.