'We live in fear': Lake County family battles persistent bears breaking into home 'every other night'

It might be Halloween week, but there's something else lurking around Leesburg other than ghosts and ghouls in costumes. 

One family is dealing with bears that are continuously breaking into their home and wrecking havoc.

"These bears have come every other night, basically," Teana Sayers told FOX 35 News.

The mother of four said she's so fed up with the bears that her family has had to take matters into their own hands. They’ve put locks on items all over their property in hopes to keep them away.

The bears have been breaking into her home for the last four years, she said. 

"There are times when my husband leaves for work early in the morning and it's dark out and there's a bear – and he can’t leave because he’s trapped by this bear," Sayers said. 

The four legged free-loaders are going after her trash cans and even trying to get into her home, she added. The family's security camera captured a few occasions where the bears are seen busting through a screened-in porch and making their way over to her sliding glass door.

Sayers shared a video of a recent break-in from Monday, which shows the bear climbing into her back porch through the screen door, moseying around and exiting the same way after the lights were turned on. 

She also shared a video from October 2021, where the bear is seen chilling on the floor before roughing up a chair on the back porch, opening what appears to be a cooler and grabbing something out of it before exiting through the screen fence. "I’ve fixed the screen multiple times," Sayer said. 

She even boarded up the screen porch to prevent the intruder from making his way in.

"I feel like we live in fear, and we shouldn’t be living like that. This is my home. I've been living here for 29 years," she continued.

These bears are getting smarter too. Aside from breaking and entering, they’ve even managed to bust into the chicken coop. They have taken a liking to her backyard tree.

"We come out here and the bears will go up in this tree here and hang out – especially the mama and her two cubs," she said.


Kenny Baez, owner of Freedom Wildlife, a wildlife removal and trapping service based in Orlando, told FOX 35 News that in his line of work he's seen just about every animal you can think of – and that includes bears. 

"Bears are opportunistic just like many animals are," he said.

He also said bears are learning to better adapt to their surroundings — and will stop at nothing to find food.

FOX 35 News asked Baez what the proper protocol is for dealing with a wild animal.

"In most cases, it’s standstill, back away slowly, try not to make any sudden movements," he said.