GULF BREEZE — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has captured four bears in a residential area in Gulf Breeze after a reported attack Saturday night.

According to a press release, the FWC is working to relocate three of the bears. 

The fourth bear, an adult female, was euthanized. She is believed to be the bear that attacked a dog and its owner when he tried to intervene to save his pet. The man sustained an injury to his face which required multiple stitches. The dog received multiple injuries but is expected to survive.

The other three bears — all 100-pound yearlings — were much heavier than typical Florida bears of the same age that live in the woods. Bears grow larger and produce more cubs when they have regular access to human-provided foods, which increases the number of bears living in neighborhoods and causes human-bear conflicts, the release said. 

The FWC will continue to work with area residents to secure bear attractants.

“Putting down bears is a decision that is not taken lightly,” said FWC Bear Management Program coordinator Dave Telesco.

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