Bear finds honey bee farm in Mandarin

Black bear moves from St. Johns County to Duval

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The trail continues for a black bear who's made its way into Jacksonville.

Residents who live along Greenland Road in Mandarin spotted the bear Thursday in a honey bee farm.

"He come in the yard and had some honey," beekeeper Bobby Gilmore said.

Gilmore caught the thief in his backyard.

"This beehive was knocked over on the ground," he said.

After having his share of honey, the culprit scampered off, climbed a fence and then went into the woods.

LISTEN: St. Johns County bear sighting 911 calls

That's one of the latest sightings of what's come to be the talk of the area. The 6-foot-tall, 300-pound black bear was first spotted in the South Hampton Golf and Country Club and the Johns Creek neighborhoods off State Road 210 in St. Johns County on Tuesday.

It made its way to Julington Creek Plantation on Wednesday and then to Mandarin on Wednesday night and into Thursday.

"It's a little scary. When I leave, I make sure the kids are, to tell them, 'If you see the bear, make sure to call the neighbors, tell them the dog stays inside.' Just watch. Leave him alone.," said Kelly Markey.

"We go down that street and there are like 15, 20 cops down there and a bear up a tree," resident Noah Barry said.

Frankie Anderson, who has lived in Mandarin for 30 years, said seeing a black bear in the area is new.

"Pretty wild out here in this neighborhood," said Anderson.

Channel 4 recorded video of the bear about 9 p.m. Wednesday near Julington Creek. It walked right by a news van.

The bear also was seen casually roaming through a front yard, frightening one woman nearby.

"I was walking down the sidewalk and I hear, 'Get out of the way, there's a bear,'" Jennifer Kramel said. "And I go, 'Yeah, there's a bear.' Then I hear, 'The bear's coming at you.'"

Kramel was walking down the sidewalk when she said the bear crept up on her. The house she ran to was that of a stranger.

"I just knew there was a bear 15 feet from me, and I didn't want to get any closer to it," Kramel said. "(The neighbor) opened the door right away. She knew what was going on."

Wildlife experts haven't tried to catch the animal, just shooing it on its way instead. They say while it has caused a lot of commotion, it hasn't hurt anyone, and bears will be bears.

"Pretty scary. I don't want to get eaten by him," said Jesse Legrand.

"All these beehives are just loaded with honey right now, so he's got all the food he wants," Gilmore said. "He knows it's here now, so I'm afraid he'll be back."

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