Black Bear Spotting in Lynn Haven

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Imagine looking out your window Christmas Eve, and instead of seeing jolly old Saint Nick you see something even more unbelievable.

The neighbors of The Timbers community in Lynn Haven watched as a 400-pound black bear carried around his own bag of loot the night before Christmas.

The big bear even gave Lynn Haven Commissioner Antonius Barnes a visit a time or two near his Mowat Highlands home.

"We noticed about three weeks ago our trash was knocked over and scattered, and one bag had been carried about 30 yards into our backyard," says Antonius Barnes.

It's not uncommon to see bears in our area during this time of year. A large group of black bears paraded around the neighborhoods of Carabelle just last year, but wildlife experts say this 400-pound bear seems determined to stick around.

"He's been seen in garbages quite a bit in Lynn Haven. He was originally in Bayou George at the end of October, and he's steadily moved down 231 into Lynn Haven and has rummaged through people’s garbages and knocked off fences," says Todd Nims of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Nims says no one has ever been attacked in Florida by a black bear, but Barnes is still concerned.

"Hopefully we'll get this bear situation solved so we won't stay hostage in our home," says Antonius Barnes.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have tried and failed to trap the bear at least four times. If they are successful they will probably move him to the Apalachicola National Forest.

Game and Fish officials ask Lynn Haven residents to bring their pets and garbage inside when they're not home.