As close as Tavares is to the Ocala National Forest, it's not unusual to see bears from time to time in residential areas located near wooded areas.
Please don't feed the bears! While it may not be done intentionally, many people unknowingly feed the bears by offering up conveniently filled bird feeders, open garbage cans, and dog food bowls. Bears must consume thousands of calories each day. If they find a location that offers easy access to food, they will return again and again.
Make sure your garbage carts are secured in a garage or shed between pickups. Put your carts at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on collection day, rather than leave them out overnight. Even empty carts will attract bears, so secure them as soon as you can after pickup.
Bring pet bowls inside immediately after food is consumed and limit the use of bird feed in areas that are frequented by bears.