The Villa San Michele apartment complex is home to students, local residents and, as of late, a black bear cub. The cub is reminiscent of Boo Boo from the classic Yogi Bear cartoon. Unlike the famous animated bear, the cub is hunting waste containers instead of picnic baskets.
Officials say that cubs separate from their families around this time of year to start life on their own.
“If the mama bear was around then probably a problem would occur since it could possibly see us as a threat and it doesn’t help that we have food in the bags too,” said resident Jaylen Norwood. “But I don’t think the bear would attack unless you presenting yourself as a threat.”
Apparently this cub wants to settle down with the Villa San Michele residents at their complex off Pensacola Street near Capital Circle SW. The wild resident made a den of the complex’s dumpster area.
Residents noticed the cub back in October. T Shanequah Sanders, who has lived there for three years, said that she noticed the cub when she was walking out her back door to take the trash.
“That cub has made the apartments his home now and he’s going to get much bigger than he is now. He may not be so scared of the residents when he does and it could be dangerous,” said resident Ny Johnson.
While some residents thought their furry friend was cute, others were worried about when the cub becomes an adult bear. Residents shared pictures and made jokes about the cub in the apartment’s group message. However, they do not take the unwanted neighbor’s presence lightly.
“The cub is a wild animal. We are predators to them. They are afraid and may attack to protect themselves,” said Sanders.
Residents made a point to tell the apartment management about the bear. Residents say that Villa San Michele employees told them to make more precautions when taking out the trash to stop the sub’s access to the trash.
“Telling management to do something to me is like asking your teacher for a C yet you never study for tests and you keep failing assignments,” Norwood said. “It doesn’t take much to simply put your trash in the bin and apparently there is a button to compress the trash. I’m not mad at the staff or the bear because what can you do when we as residents are the reason it happened.”
The apartment complex management insists that it cannot control forces of nature. Black bears are usually nonaggressive so residents do not have to live in too much fear.
“They say they’re harmless but that’s not the point. This is a community where we pay to live and we shouldn’t be scared to take out the trash, nor have the hassle of dealing with a bear,” said resident Jacobi Peavey.
“I believe that anyone that has wildlife around their neighborhood, would find a problem with the animals trespassing. The problem is not that he exists. The problem is that he wants to coexist on property,” resident Jennifer Papayoute said.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, black bears are in abundance in Tallahassee and its surrounding areas.
“I believe that the cub just proved to us that anything in the forest could come over the fence and get on property if it wanted to,” said Papayoute.