110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Dec 23, 2013 - 3:15:03pm
Cascades residents out for morning walks Monday, Dec. 23, were startled by the sight of a patch of blood on the pavement at the subdivision's entrance. A smear of blood led to a heartbreaking sight behind the Cascades entrance wall: a young bear, hardly more than a cub, dead.
Resident Marjorie Fletcher, upset at the sight, called The Beacon. She feared someone had maliciously shot the bear. She and resident Joe Beaulieu led this reporter to the scene.
It turned out that the bear had not been shot maliciously, said DeLand police Officer Ken Ramkissoon, who responded to the scene Monday morning, Dec. 23.
"It was hit by a car. It was laying on the side of the road," he said.
An initial call came in to Volusia County Dispatch Center at 10:25 p.m. Dec. 22, Sheriff's Office spokesman Gary Davidson said.
The caller said a pickup truck struck the bear and kept on going. Another call came in at 10:34 p.m., notifying dispatchers that the bear was still alive, "but most likely was going to die," Davidson said.
A deputy responded to the scene, and Dispatch also notified te Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), who had someone respond to the scene.
"FWC removed the bear from the roadway," and the call was cleared at 11:22 p.m., Davidson said.
That is consistent with what resident Jane Karis said. Her home is near the entrance, and she saw flashing blue lights at the entrance starting around 10:30 p.m. or so, and continuing when she went to bed around 11 p.m.
The FWC Ocala Field Office confirmed getting a call from the Sheriff's Office the night of Dec. 22, and said that FWC was responding the morning of Dec. 23 to remove the carcass.
FWC spokeswoman Karen Parker in Tallahassee said an FWC biologist arrived on the scene about 11:40 p.m. Dec. 22. The bear had already died of its injuries. It had not been shot, Parker said.
A caller had reported to FWC a little earlier Dec. 22 that a bear was going through some trash dumpsters at a nearby condo, Parker said; then came the call about a truck hitting a bear.
Cascades resident Jane Farero, who lives near the entrance, said her sister, Carol Riffle, who is visiting from Ohio for the holidays, saw a black animal go across the home’s driveway after 10 p.m. Dec. 22. Farero said she replied, mostly joking, that it was probably a bear. Now, she thinks it was the bear.
Resident Joe Beaulieu, who lives farther back in the subdivision, said a bear got into his trash toter about four weeks ago. The bear removed three bags of garbage and ate from them. Several bears have been spotted in recent months, he and other residents confirmed.
The bears are coming down from the Glenwood area and foraging for food, Beaulieu said.
Cascades residents Fletcher and Beaulieu said the sight of the dead bear was a sad way to begin Christmas week and a Monday morning, but they were glad no one had maliciously shot the animal.
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