Keep Yourself Safe
- A bear will usually hear you and move away before you are aware of it
- Bears are shy animals – if they stand on their hind legs it is simply to gain a better view
- Never offer a bear any food, and cook before sunset to avoid attracting them
- Change out of clothes you cooked in and wash hands to avoid the smell of food before going to sleep
- If bears feel threatened they will snap their jaws, swat at the ground, or bluff charge to scare you away
- If you encounter a bear, do not run away or make any sudden movements, this will only frighten the bear
- Back away from a bear slowly, avoid direct eye contact, and do not try to play dead
- Do not try to escape by climbing a tree
- If a bear attacks, fight back with bare hands, rocks, backpacks, or water bottles
Keep Bears Safe
Vehicle collisions are responsible for 90% of known Florida Black Bear deaths.
The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway got its name from the many black Bears who make their homes here. Please do your part to help save bear lives by being alert to the fact that you are sharing your drive at all times with other animals.
- Because bears are most active around dusk and dawn, most vehicle-bear collisions occur during these hours.
- The most frequent location for vehicle-bear collisions is within the Ocala National Forest
- In Florida, black bears are considered a threatened species, and in fact you are much more of a danger to them than they are to you
- A male black bear’s range is 50 to 120 square miles and a female black bear’s range is 10 to 25 square miles
To avoid collisions with bears and other wildlife:
- Obey all posted speed limits
- Be alert and drive slower during dusk and dawn hours, when bears are out more
- Drive carefully and watch for wildlife in heavily wooded areas, in areas with low lighting or visibility, and in areas marked with warning signs
See Also: About Black Bears, Food Storage Order