Two bears too much to bear for East Naples community

'What's it going to take? Are we going to have to wait until someone gets mauled or killed before anything happens?' asks neighbor John DeLorenzo. Two black bears broke into the screen porch of a 90-year-old resident at Marco Shores Estates, in the latest of dozens of marauding bear incidents in the community in East Naples. Lance Shearer/Special to the Daily News

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

"What's it going to take? Are we going to have to wait until someone gets mauled or killed before anything happens?" asks neighbor John DeLorenzo. Two black bears broke into the screen porch of a 90-year-old resident at Marco Shores Estates, in the latest of dozens of marauding bear incidents in the community in East Naples. Lance Shearer/Special to the Daily News

Video from NBC-2

— Two bears described as “enormous” broke into the screened porch of a 90-year-old East Naples woman’s home Tuesday morning, tearing through screens and plastic windows, and dislodging metal panels.

Lois Martin, who slept through the incident, was concerned when she learned of her nocturnal visitors.

“I had chicken bones in my garbage,” she said. “I’m sure that’s what they were going for.”

This was only the most recent incursion by bears at Marco Shores Estates, a 55 and older mobile home community off Manatee Road, between U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard. There have been so many in recent months that just last week biologist administrator Dan Mitchell of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spoke to residents in their community center, giving them tips on how to make their neighborhood less hospitable to bears.

“They’ve gone down the street at night, knocking over the cans,” said John DeLorenzo, who lives next door to Martin. “One night there were 30 garbage cans all knocked down, with garbage strewed all over the street.”

“What’s it going to take? Are we going to have to wait until someone gets mauled or killed before anything happens?” DeLorenzo asked.

Teresa DeLorenzo, John’s daughter, heard the commotion outside her bedroom window early Tuesday and looked out into the moonlit scene in time to see the marauding bears head off into the night.

“I’d say they were over 400 pounds,” DeLorenzo said. “They were huge.”

Jan Altheide, the Marco Shores Estates office administrator, said bears have gone through screened enclosures in the community four of five times.

“The trash is the problem,” Altheide said. “The bears are following their noses. They’re not aggressive — they don’t want to break into people’s homes. They’re just being bears.”

John DeLorenzo said the community has asked Waste Management for later garbage pickups in the morning, so garbage cans will not have to be left out overnight.

FWC spokesperson Carli Segelson said not putting garbage cans in a secure area is the most likely attractor for bears. She said it is easier to convince humans to change their habits than it is to attempt to change the bears’ natural instincts.

“Even if we successfully remove a bear — and they will travel long distances to come home — if there are still attractants, other bears will come,” she said.

The FWC has no plans to attempt to trap or remove any bears from the East Naples area, including Marco Shores, she said. The FWC recommends that anyone who encounters a bear at close range remain standing, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice.

© 2013 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 45

glennhamilton writes:

"Stand still, stand up straight and in a calm voice talk and counsel the bear" Straight talk from an idiot.
Put 2 twelve gage slugs into center mass. Let the invading bear meet his long lost relitives.
Call the numb-nuts at Fl animal control to get the skin to make a rug.

Al_makes_me_feel_like_marching writes:

I think we should have a rally for the BEars rights maybe jesse and al would come down based on the color of the bears skin. Let's march for the black bears rights to kill old white people. This is an obvious frame up by the Florida wildlife commission if the Bears had been white they would have never written the article.

rprincess writes:

Any confirmation that Manatee Middle School was on lock down yesterday because of the bears in the area?

Randy50 writes:

I would have had to shoot them once they came in. If a person breaks in to your home you can shoot them, why not a bear. Sounds like they were doing all the right things with there trash inside, what more can they do.

Randy50 writes:

The FWC has no plans to attempt to trap or remove any bears from the East Naples area, including Marco Shores, she said. The FWC recommends that anyone who encounters a bear at close range remain standing, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice. And then Shoot them...

justright (Inactive) writes:

If you move into bear country, well, you've moved into bear country. If you don't like it, move to the city. If you insist on staying for gosh sakes, secure your trash.

Cherieo3 writes:

in response to Randy50:

The FWC has no plans to attempt to trap or remove any bears from the East Naples area, including Marco Shores, she said. The FWC recommends that anyone who encounters a bear at close range remain standing, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice. And then Shoot them...

If you people do not want the bears in your community...then don't leave garbage OUT so as to invite the bears! Same goes for cockroaches..leaving ANY food out is just an invitation to bears, raccoons and bugs. Clean up your act folks.

Gsx-rrider writes:

Trash and chicken bones inside a lanai when you know there are bears in the area is absolutely not doing the right thing. Food scraps and such should be kept in an outside garbage can with a lid. Better trash thrown around your street than a bear in your living room. Don't want bears? Move away from the edge of the Everglades, or better yet, move back North.

aj writes:

People are the problem...not the Bears. You moved onto their house.!!!!

native_at_heart writes:

I'm sorry the resident was scared, but the more we encroach into their territory the more this will happen as their natural food source diminishes. Black bears are not aggressive, unless of course you corner a mom with cubs. You are only asking for trouble when you leave trash accessible. They have a great sense of smell and a screened in lanai wouldn't even keep a raccoon out if it was hungry enough.

jvic47 writes:

Why not change the garbage pick up to mid day instead of leaving it out over night for early pick up.

ConcernedinCollier writes:

in response to aj:

People are the problem...not the Bears. You moved onto their house.!!!!

+1

Parkmom writes:

These bears also "visit" Enchanting Shores, Riverwood Estates and Quail Roost.Two nights ago they were out @ 10:30. This morning they were around @ 2:30am. A few bears found a convenient food source and that's the problem. STOP FEEDING THE BEARS.
Sunday night at least 30% of the residents were still putting out their garbage, and it was only 8pm, when we've been told many times to wait til the morning of pick-up. When the "snowbirds" go home, the problem lessen to no problem at all. That's not to imply it's the "snowbirds" at fault. Just more garbage for the bears. This year it's been the worst as there's more than one bear and I think they've acquired a taste for people food.(Can you imagine going from our cuisine to berries and acorns?)
Stop complaining and do what you were told. Freeze your garbage until it's time to put it out the morning of pick-up, or, if you can't freeze it, triple wrap it (what else do you do with all those Walmart bags?) and keep it indoors until the morning of pick up.
Dicussion of bear-proof cans was an item in last week's meeting in Marco Shores. How long do you think it will take the bears to figure them out, or have the strength to break them. And yes, you would have to pay for the specialty cans. Do you think the same imbiciles who won't do what they're told now will be willing to go thru the rigamaroll of unfastening and fastening a new designed can? If you want to put money to the problem, start fining those that don't do what they are told, and exaserbate the problem.
The bylaws/rules now state NOT to put garbage out until 6pm the night before pick-up. Change that to 6am the morning OF pick up.
That gives the bylaws/rules teeth to fine the offenders.
It's funny, my neighbor who complains several times a week about the cleanup he has to do after the bear visits, who's got 2 freezers, insists he's smarter than the bear. Fine, who's hungrier?
Then there's the other nut or 2 running around with a loaded shotgun insisting he's protecting his kids intending to kill the problem.
1. you chase the bear to my area. Why do you think the bear comes in the dark and runs from you? He doesn't want to deal with you.
2. While you're chasing one bear, there's at least 5 in the area. Who's protecting your kids from them while you're acting like a vigilante with one bear.
3. While you're in jail after you've unjustly killed an animal that's only wanted your garbage, which you haven't done what you were told about NOT putting out in the first place, who's watching your children now?
4. While you're in my area waving a loaded shotgun around, someone else's kid comes out of their house to check out the commotion only to be looking down the barrel of your shotgun. Or I, perhaps, come out with my loaded shotgun to face an unwanted intruder; YOU!
How good a dad are you now, fool?
Just do what you're told and save the money and aggravation of new cans/bullets and instead, rolling your cart out in the morning.

Localmotion writes:

Grin and Bear it!

swfl_ff writes:

As the others have said, we have moved into their territory and we need to respect their space as we do with all animals. Black bears are not aggressive by nature unless they are protecting their young. We have had the bears in our neighborhood too with no real problems.

The biggest thing anyone can do to discourage bears is to keep their garbage locked away where it will not attract the bears. Bears are scavengers by nature and will eat just about anything they can get to easily.

I agree the easy answer is not to put out garbage the night before, however with Waste Management's inconsistent pick up schedule you don't have much choice but to get it out the night before unless you are going to be up very early in the morning. I know in my neighborhood pick up can range anywhere from 6:30AM to 4PM. There appears to be no consistency in the way they run their routes.

Bottom line we all need to learn to live with them and do the best to respect their space and do what we can do discourage them from coming too close.

Irene writes:

They were here first, we are the intruders. Get used to it.

Mohammed_Goldberg writes:

The bears have been feeding on people's garbage in this park for over a year. Usually they show up the night before the scheduled garbage pickup for their buffet. What will probably happen is when they can not find food outside of dwellings, they will begin to break into screen rooms and other places where the garbage containers are kept.

Had park management responded appropiately when the bears first started feeding on the garbage, it could have been prevented, by teaching residents to keep the containers inside storage areas or out of site, and putting something inside the container to act as an animal repellant.
.....

Parkmom writes:

in response to Mohammed_Goldberg:

The bears have been feeding on people's garbage in this park for over a year. Usually they show up the night before the scheduled garbage pickup for their buffet. What will probably happen is when they can not find food outside of dwellings, they will begin to break into screen rooms and other places where the garbage containers are kept.

Had park management responded appropiately when the bears first started feeding on the garbage, it could have been prevented, by teaching residents to keep the containers inside storage areas or out of site, and putting something inside the container to act as an animal repellant.
.....

Mohammed_Goldberg writes:"Had park management responded appropiately when the bears first started feeding on the garbage, it could have been prevented".

What do you mean by "park management"? And "responded appropriately"?
Everyone has known about the bear issue.
If anyone repeats the same behavior expecting a different result, they're a fool.
You're an adult and homeowner and neighbor. It's your responsibility. Do your job as such, so I don't get hurt.

coolkraft writes:

Imagine what will happen when the huge project behind Publix at Rattlesnake Hammock Rd & US 41 is done....we will have to bear with it

baldygrandpa writes:

in response to coolkraft:

Imagine what will happen when the huge project behind Publix at Rattlesnake Hammock Rd & US 41 is done....we will have to bear with it

I have no doubt that the bears that used to call that site "home" will become someones problem soon enough.

sunshinejohne writes:

I had a camping buddy who thought he'd outsmart the bears by keeping his food INSIDE his tent---last time he did that! The best way to keep da-bears out of your trash,is to put used cat litter around the cans and they will run like hell !

citizenH writes:

The bears were there first!
Take their land away and as animals ... what do these people expect?
Getting rid of the bears would be a wrong move!

Al_makes_me_feel_like_marching writes:

Well on time me and a buddy of mine was runnin a truck load of COORS and I was the driver of the decoy car a pretty sweet TA 6.6. I had at least 10 bears chasing me for a couple thousand miles I wasn't scared at all in fact I even picked up a babe on the way. Pretty cool huh

naples_rocket writes:

they're just celebrating International Polar Bear Day
http://www.polarbearsinternational.or...

TheFacts writes:

Move and or quit complaining. Anything to get in the paper. (sic)

Trexler writes:

My naked girlfriend loves to lay on my bearskin rug in front of my Amish fireplace...

rprincess writes:

in response to Mohammed_Goldberg:

The bears have been feeding on people's garbage in this park for over a year. Usually they show up the night before the scheduled garbage pickup for their buffet. What will probably happen is when they can not find food outside of dwellings, they will begin to break into screen rooms and other places where the garbage containers are kept.

Had park management responded appropiately when the bears first started feeding on the garbage, it could have been prevented, by teaching residents to keep the containers inside storage areas or out of site, and putting something inside the container to act as an animal repellant.
.....

When Marco Shores first opened all residents were given a list of regulations. One stipulation was only lawn furniture could remain outside. Trash cans, grills, etc. were to be placed out of sight. In time apparently some residents complained about putting trash cans in their sheds. Soon several trash cans appeared in the rear of the houses. And soon the bears found their treats. Let's all pull together and get back to the good old rules,

drolds writes:

in response to citizenH:

The bears were there first!
Take their land away and as animals ... what do these people expect?
Getting rid of the bears would be a wrong move!

Mosquitos were here first also. Should we stop spraying?

papouz10 writes:

A cup of chlorine bleach sprinkled on your trash might discourage the hbear from getting into the garbage.Not so bon appetette

decembergirl writes:

How about the human race just stop living? That would solve all the problems. Then there could be bears galore.

Hey boo boo..what do ya say we find ourselves a piccciinic basket. But gee Yogi there are no more humans to get them from.

swampbuggy writes:

" The FWC recommends that anyone who encounters a bear at close range remain standing, back up slowly and speak to the bear in a calm, assertive voice. "
Really??? How well does it work?
http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2012/o...

cornandbeans writes:

My mother kept food scraps in the garage freezer until trash pick up day, then , morning of trash pick up she dumped them in the trash bin at the curb.

Never a problem with animals. Coons were the culprit, not bears. But, the system works the same.

swamp999 writes:

Surprise, Surprise! As I reported last week in the NDN, a huge track of land was stripped to the ground in back of the Publix in East Naples. Where the hell do the Bears and other wild animals now get to live? Dam the developers, the Naples City Council, the Building and Planning Board and all the other greedy S.O.B's that destroyed all this wildlife habitat. I want those Bears protected. They did nothing, they are victims.

HAP writes:

CLOSE YOUR TRASH CANS OR MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY WERE HERE FIRST, YOU MOVED IN ON THEM, GET USED TO IT OR GET THE HELLO OUT.

glennhamilton writes:

in response to rprincess:

Any confirmation that Manatee Middle School was on lock down yesterday because of the bears in the area?

The head of the FWC should resign. He is not looking out for public safety.

glennhamilton writes:

in response to aj:

People are the problem...not the Bears. You moved onto their house.!!!!

NO, you are wrong. They brojke into an occupied home. They are preditors with big teeth and claws. They are doing this because they are hungry or sick. I am or will not be on their menu. Think about what you are saying before you put it in print.

Al_makes_me_feel_like_marching writes:

I forgot to tell everyone the chick I picked up her dad was chasing me to she was supposed to get married to some other dude what do you think about that.

titanbite writes:

I like bears,it's the snooty people I could do without.

Stop feeding the bears and secure your garbage ya morons!

titanbite writes:

in response to glennhamilton:

NO, you are wrong. They brojke into an occupied home. They are preditors with big teeth and claws. They are doing this because they are hungry or sick. I am or will not be on their menu. Think about what you are saying before you put it in print.

You're not on their menu,a bear wouldn't eat you,they would prefer the garbage,no doubt,what little sustenance they might find on your bones would be old and tough,not to mention way,way too bland!

Learn to live and let live in this environment or move back to the flora and fauna-less,concrete jungle you came from!

SECURE YOUR TRASH,DON'T FEED THE BEARS!

redbarn11 writes:

You krusties' There has never been a florida black bear attack on a human, causing death!! ever. Get a life sluggo.... leave bears alone. and pick up your trash!!! , secure it.. duh

babyblue writes:

in response to papouz10:

A cup of chlorine bleach sprinkled on your trash might discourage the hbear from getting into the garbage.Not so bon appetette

this actually works excellent, we had the bears over on Polly and Whitaker and if you change your habits the bears move on. Also Amonnia works good, real stuff not lemon or floral scent.

mona1000 writes:

When I lived "up north" in a VA houseing authority, we had those old fashioned garbage cans that were in ground. In the summer, there were flies all over it. Next thing you know, there are millions of maggots. I used emply 1/2 gal milk cartons, and my garbage went into those in the freezer. When I saw that the garbage pickup was in the neighborhood, I took the container and put it outside in the garbage can. My "neighbor" who did not do this, she just scraped the food directly into the can was the reason for the maggots. I remember one night, it was raining very hard, my neighbor, across the street called me on the phone and told me to look outside my door, but do not open it. When I peered through the window, there were millions of maggots all around the apartments and climbing up to the second story. Please learn from my lesson! The "park" should supply a safe and effective way to dispose of garbage, you are paying dearly to live there, make the park provide a huge dumpster or something!!!!!

martinm_1 writes:

SHOOT THEM AND MOUNT IT,THEY ARE BEARS,NOT HUMANS,AND WE KILL HUMANS,SELF DEFENSE.

BufordP writes:

do like I do out here in the far eastern reaches of Golden Gate Estates......

I throw any leftovers out in the woods 100's of feet away from my house which means them bears spend time prowling the woods looking for food instead of coming to the source... and I keep the garbage can chained to a telephone pole with two bolts holding the lid closed and I don't put the garbage out until morning..

mostly works..... problem is alot of people don't even attempt to make it difficult for the bears... so the bears come around..

I would shoot a bear if it was on my back porch (Lanai as it is called by realtors LOL) as it attacked me..

BufordP writes:

in response to papouz10:

A cup of chlorine bleach sprinkled on your trash might discourage the hbear from getting into the garbage.Not so bon appetette

bleach doesn't work very well.
neither does Ammonia.

ask me how I know this?

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features