LAKE MARY, Fla. - A Lake Mary mother received quite the surprise when she discovered that a three-legged black bear, affectionately known by locals as "Tripod," managed to break into her home while her 13-year-old son was inside with the family dog.
Josaury Faneite Diglio, the homeowner, shared multiple videos with FOX 35 News showing the bear, which had a noticeable limp, wandering around her driveway and later near the family's pool.
The bear appeared to have entered the home through a screened-in lanai in the backyard, photos showed.
"Oh my God, look at him," Diglio's son could be heard saying in one of the videos as the bear rummaged through a cabinet by the pool. "This is crazy!" he added, capturing the bizarre encounter on his cellphone.
Diglio said the bear even accessed her outdoor refrigerator and helped itself to three of her White Claw hard seltzer beverages.
The three-legged intruder eventually walked off. It's unclear where the bear went.
A Black bear reportedly broke into a Lake Mary home and drank three White Claws from an outdoor refrigerator. (Photo via Josaury Faneite Diglio)
What should you do if you encounter a bear?
The presence of black bears in Florida is not typically a problem or threat to your safety, but it's important to remember that they are wild animals and deserve respect.
Black bears are normally too shy to risk contact with humans, but their powerful need to find food can overwhelm their fear, officials said.
The FWC urges residents to be aware of their surroundings and walk dogs on a short leash.
If you see a bear, the FWC said to make sure you are in a safe area, make sure the bear has a clear escape route, and then scare the bear! This can be done by yelling, banging pots and pans, using an air horn, or anything else that makes a lot of noise.
If you feel threatened by a bear or notice a bear that is visibly sick, injured, dead, or orphaned, you're asked to call the FWC wildlife alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). You're also asked to contact wildlife officials if you see someone harming bears or intentionally feeding them.