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Black Bear Spotted Near School Prompts Lock Down, Population Continues to Grow

WEEKI WACHEE – Winding Waters K-8 and Weeki Wachee High School were placed on modified lock down this morning, after a Florida Black Bear was spotted in the area.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Officer, James Boogaerts, FWC received reports that a Black Bear had been spotted in a neighborhood close to the schools. Out of an abundance of caution, FWC officers on scene requested that the schools be placed on lock down while they searched the area.

Hernando County School Board Spokesperson, Karen Jordan, confirmed the lock down but says it has since been lifted.According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Black Bear population has grown since it was placed on the endangered species list back in the 1970s. At that time, there were only 300 bears known to be in existence but thanks to conservation efforts, the species was removed from the endangered list in 2012, and has now grown to an estimated 4,000 adult bears across Florida.

According to experts, adult males can grow to 250-350 pounds and adult females can weigh 130-180 pounds; relatively small when compared to the American Brown Bear (Grizzly), which can grow to nearly 800 pounds.

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FWC Stock Photo. Not actual bear from today’s sighting.

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  • Big deal so there is a bear in the woods and bobcats, panthers, coyotes, foxes and snakes its Florida expect it. Weeki Wachee and the Royal Highlands are wooded so get use to it. Most of the older kids at Winding Waters most likely spend their weekends riding quads in the same woods

    Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 10:01 pm
  • If you build in an area where bears live, expect to see bears…and leave them the hell alone. They were here first.

    Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 3:50 pm
  • I don’t think it is so much a “liberal” comment as the idea that NY bears and Florida bears have almost nothing in common. It is silly to lock down the school because someone may have seen a bear in an area that is known to have bears! The schools are so noisy when the kids are outside I am sure the bear would run far away! There are many communities in all states that have a large bear population and bear attacks are very rare. I agree that we need to stop turning our youth into sissies!

    Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 7:10 am
  • The BEAR needs to be protected from US! Now, with this story, every idiot with a rifle will be in those woods trying to “bag a bear”. Just leave wildlife alone!

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 10:27 pm
    • Actually RedTabby we are in the woods right now with archery equipment. Oh the horror, sticking poor animals with sharp points, almost like every generation did prior to your whiney ass generation! So enjoy your leather car seats, purse and all the other animal stuff but it doesn’t count right?

      Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 7:04 am
      • It’s no more than 350 lbs and maybe 130. How much bear meat are you going to get? Or is it the little head you want on a wall. Why dont you boys go home, sit on the porch and finish up that suitcase of Budweiser.

        Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 7:39 pm
  • Let them live wild and free. What you you do if they would burn your home

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 9:51 pm
  • The principal chose lock down… FWC can’t do that. She tends to freak out.

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 9:17 pm
  • Do people forget that at one time, not many years ago before they started to build in the forests near the schools, those woods were filled with bears. There used to be signs all over the place to “BE AWARE OF BEARS”. Builders took their homes and built homes for humans. I once asked someone who worked for the County and asked them why they do the controlled burns and they told me it was because of the fear of forest fires. I then asked them if it were to clear the land so that homes and businesses could be built and was told NO..I wonder?

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 7:06 pm
  • A bear sighted near a forest. And the educational system’s response: Lock Down. Children are being taught to be snowflakes. A nearby bank is robbed by a man not displaying a weapon. What do they do? Lock down. Shelter in place. Evacuate. Let the government substitute for common sense and experience. Our children are being overprotected and made to be scared of their own shadow.

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 6:07 pm
    • Lol….how tru

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:01 pm
    • But allow a hair on just one of those children’s heads be hurt due to this wild bear and a lawsuit would be filed quicker than you can say Yogi Bear! Education can’t win!

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:20 pm
    • Agreed.

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:44 pm

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 4:37 pm
  • Ive seen plenty of black bears in NY State where im from. Most will run away when they come across a human. However some have broken into houses and hunting camps looking for food. They can do some damage to homes and property when hungry. Ive seen bee hives torn apart for the honey. Locking down a school when dismissal time is close is a smart move. A mother bear will fight to the death if someone was to come between her cubs and her.

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 3:45 pm
    • THANX there tommy boy, we’ve all seen that episode of ” mountain men ”
      U’ll also find NY based comments R unwelcome in these parts of town.
      Just a tip.

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:34 pm
  • Hello, people, you built/moved into their world. I’ve found if you don’t bother them they don’t bother you. Secure trash cans & lids, if seen just secure your children & pets till they’re gone. COMMON SENSE NEEDED. By the way, Tom, not nit picking but 2nd paragraph should be conSERVATION not conversation.

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 3:06 pm
    • The weather has more to do with it than a garbage can🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸 but frogs are im my cans so i will secure them bearatholigist…Thank you for the common sense today……Get me grammar police .

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 4:04 pm
  • I originated from upstate New York and black bear are plentiful in the Adirondacks. They are normally quite docile and not to be feared. They typically run when a human is near. I find it humorous that a school would lock down on sighting one as the schools in upstate NY would be closed all the time, ha ha.

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 2:59 pm
    • AGAIN!!! KEN!!! Like I told ur partner in crime ( poaching) TOMMY BOY.
      NO NY comments here!!
      Did u 2 espcape a ny prison or something?? Give ur selves UP!!

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:45 pm
      • You liberals are all alike. No free speech. Better read the Constitution.

        Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 9:04 pm
        • Actually he’s probably a trump supporter soooooo…..?

          Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 12:16 am

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