Flickr User DGriebeling
Being raised in the Northeast (one of the most beautiful parts of our country) I never gave a moment’s thought about moving to Florida. It was only when the winters became unbearable that we decided it was time to move to a warmer climate. Little did I know about the types of animal related adventures that would eventually befall us.
For example: it was just the other day that I posted an item about our recent visit from a gang of Norway rats who invaded the attic of our Florida home in Volusia County. Happily, Wildlife Solutions came to the rescue, in the same way they did three years ago when Rocky Raccoon and his relatives rented free space under our roof.
With just a few visits their technician humanely removed all the intruders, leaving our home devoid of rodents. And even though these unwanted guests were an interruption to our peaceful domicile, our encounter was (after I read the shocking story about the experience of a woman living close by in southwest Seminole County) a drop in the bucket wildlife wise in comparison to what she went through.
I can hardly imagine what Jenny Sue Rhoades must have felt when she sat on her couch to relax and watch some television when out of the corner of her eye she spied a large black Florida bear ambling through her back yard. She wasn’t surprised since she lives just a few miles from Wekiwa Springs State Park, and bears have visited her before.
But this member of the Ursus americanus species seemed to be on a mission. He headed straight for her hot tub, pressed his face against the screen and walked right through it. After putting his mouth and paw in the spa, he decided to take a dip!
In an interview published in the Orlando Sentinel, Ms. Rhoades said, "I think he was hot and thirsty. It looked like he knew what he was doing. He had been in a pool or spa before, there's no doubt in my mind.”
After going outside and banging on a table, the frightened bear (in response to the noise) got out of the tub, leaving through the hole he made in the screen. Ms. Rhoades was relieved not only because she didn’t want him getting used to the spa, but also because she certainly didn’t want him leaving any “packages” behind.
Wildlife officials warned her not to repair the screen for at least a week just in case he returns for an encore performance. So far he has not made an appearance. But now she has to deal with the numerous squirrels who can gain access thanks to the hole the bear made in her screen.
I am absolutely compelled to track this story for updates. If you can bear to read it, a sequel will follow.
How would you react if a bear appeared on your property? Do tell in a comment.