• Video: Several bears spotted in Jacksonville-area yards

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax


    Several bear sightings have been reported in the Jacksonville area in the last few days.

    A woman said she was letting her dogs out in her backyard Tuesday morning when she came within 10 feet of a black bear.

    Jeff Bendel said his wife called him after she saw the bear outside their home on Brampton Falls Lane in the Sweetwater Creek subdivision.

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    He said his wife told him she started yelling to her Maltese-Yorkies to get away from the bear, and it ran off.

    Bendel said a waist-high picket fence is the only thing that separates their backyard from wetlands behind their house.

    Florida wildlife officials came to their home and told them that pawprints on their fence measured 5-6 inches and were likely from a 200- to 250-pound bear.

    Kevin Stoddard shared video with Action News Jax of another bear sighting in St. Johns County.

    Video shows the bear walking through his yard this weekend.

    Stoddard said the bear tried to climb a fence but ended up ripping off a panel.

    The bear went straight to a trash can, sniffed around a bit, then walked off.

    Stoddard said the bear sighting doesn’t worry him.

    “I think he was passing through. (I'm) not too worried about it,” Stoddard said.

    A third bear sighting was reported in the Julington Creek area.

    A neighbor reported seeing a black bear Sunday night in the Eastwood Branch subdivision.

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