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WATCH: Boy finds bear napping on lanai

Posted at 10:38 AM, Aug 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-19 10:38:03-04

NAPLES, Fla. (WBBH) -- A family in Florida had an uncomfortably close encounter with a black bear at their home last week.

"You don't really think when you see something like that,” said Preston MacDonough. “So, we're all just freaking out."

A black bear left the comforts of the Collier County woods, tore through a screen and settled down on the MacDonough's lanai on Thursday.

The babysitter called the boys’ mother home immediately .

"I've seen a bear at the zoo, but not even that close,” said Alice MacDonough. “This is the closest I've ever come to a bear let alone a seven or eight foot bear sitting on my back porch."

The bear spent an hour on the lanai not doing much, which Florida Wildlife Control said is a problem. Since the bear is not afraid of humans, officials worry things could go a differently the next time the animal shows up.

As a result, wildlife officials have set a trap with bait and are waiting for the bear to return.

MacDonough understands why FWC is trapping the bear, but hates to think it will be euthanized.

"This is their habitat. We're invading their area. They need a place to run, to roam," she said.

Wildlife officials said the family did everything right and that their garbage and pet food was all inside.

Experts think the bear was just looking for a dry spot, but said it is alarming he spent this much time with humans -- and that they'll have to put the bear down.