(LAKE MARY, Fla.) — Tramaine Gaines was in the kitchen of his Florida home this week eating pizza when he noticed something big searching through his things just a few feet away.
“I look to my right and to my disbelief I see two eyes looking at me in the darkness,” Gaines said.
Those two eyes belonged to a black bear that had made himself at home inside the screened patio of Gaines’ Lake Mary home.
“The bear was actually on his way back in[side],” said Gaines, who captured the encounter with the bear on his cellphone.
The encounter was Gaines’ second with a bear in a week.
Gaines also found a bear poking around his home Thursday after it ripped through the screen patio. In that case, Gaines said he had left out cooking oil that might have attracted the hungry animal.
“This time there was no food outside,” Gaines said of this week’s bear encounter. “I pulled everything in.”
But not everyone has been as fortunate as Gaines. Six miles away in Longwood, Fla., a black bear attacked Susan Chalfant earlier this month while she was out walking her dogs. Chalfant was left with serious injuries.
Wildlife experts are urging residents who live near woods or wetlands to watch out for bears as they search for food to prepare for winter.
“The first time it was really funny,” Gaines said of his own bear encounters. “This time I’m a little more concerned.”
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Max Blau, CNN
Joe Sterling, Dave Alsup and Darran Simon, CNN