Florida officials warn of dangerous bear encounters while camping

Officials have issued a warning to those planning to camp in Ocala National Forest.

People there have reportedly been seeing more black bears. Park officials said that they have had several dangerous bear encounters at Alexander Springs Recreation Area. Thankfully, no one was hurt though.

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According to the National Park Service, you should keep your distance from bears and avoid surprising them. They said to pay attention to your surroundings and make yourself noticeable if you are in an area that is known to have bears.

If you do get noticed by a bear, the National Park Service says to:

  • Identify yourself calmly so the bear knows you are human and not prey.
  • Remain still, stand your ground, and slowly wave your arms.
  • Then, continue to stay calm. You may talk to the bear in low tones.
  • Pick up any small children that are with you.
  • Travel in a group if you can.
  • Make yourselves look as large as possible. One way to do this is to move to higher ground.
  • Finally, if the bear is stationary, move away slowly and sideways.

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