A black bear seems to have made a home in Daytona Beach, Florida his favorite hangout spot after it was seen relaxing multiple times inside a hammock belonging to a local resident. According to CNN, the black bear, which had been spotted by locals in the neighborhood since Wednesday, finally came across a hammock on Thursday and immediately decided to take a quick nap inside it.
The hammock is owned by local resident Vincent James, who says he is the one usually found inside the hammock. He told CNN:
“He got in the hammock like he was a tourist or something,”
The bear, which spent a few minutes inside the hammock, liked the experience so much it was back at the same spot again after 20 minutes to repeat the feat, according to WBTV. This time though, his antics were captured by photographer Rafael Torres. The bear was barely 60 feet away from Torres at that time. While the bear did notice Rafael clicking away pictures, it didn’t look bothered about his presence.
While Vincent and Torres seem more bemused than worried at the antics of the bear, local residents don’t seem to appreciate its presence. And why not? The bear has been all around the neighborhood looking for food by destroying bird feeders and opening up trash cans. It was just a month ago that they had read about reports of a black bear attacking a woman in her garage. While the woman claimed she was attacked by five, police have said that there was only one bear.
Residents and wildlife officials are also warning animal and bear lovers to refrain from feeding bears that often come out of the woods in search of food when humans are around. The bear menace is so bad in some areas that police actually had to arrest an 81-year-old woman at Sebring this February after she ignored repeated warnings to stop feeding bears in her backyard. She was apparently worried about the bears going hungry if she didn’t feed them.
According to the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission, it is very difficult to relocate and rehabilitate bears who have gotten used to living close to humans. They tend to keep on coming back, causing deadly attacks at times.
How would you react if you chanced upon a bear relaxing inside a hammock in your backyard?
[Images via Rafael Torres, WBTW]