WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. (WFLA) - Cat and Ron Richardson say they finally have hope. For weeks, they've been pleading with various state and rescue agencies to save an injured bear in the Weeki Wachee area, but no one seemed to be able to help.
Cat Richardson says a FWC employee told her the bear was too big for them to deal with and a number of rescues told her they couldn't do anything without FWC's blessing.
The bear, who the couple named "Boo Boo," had been dining at homes in their neighborhood, knocking over trash cans and scavenging any scraps it could.
When he made it to the Richardson's home, they heard the racket and initially thought it was a raccoon. Cat asked her husband to check it out.
"And I told him, 'go out and look.' And he comes back and says, 'it's a bear, it's a bear,'" said Cat. "So I want to see him, you know?"
The couple retreated back in the house and when they got a closer look at the bear, they discovered he had a serious injury to his hind leg. Ron thinks he may have been hit by a car.
"I just don't think he's going to make it with three legs. He can't get away from anything. A little dog will scare him away," said Ron. "So I'm hoping some rescue or something will take him. "
Ron and Cat have been setting out food for the bear, which they know isn't a good idea, but they don't feel they have a choice.
"I can't rightfully not feed him. I feel bad for him. Especially since he's hurt," said Ron. "If he was a healthy bear, I would say, 'that's a bad thing. Let's not do it.'"
8 on Your Side notified FWC officials in Tallahassee and a representative told us the agency takes all issues involving sick or injured wildlife very seriously and is now looking in to the situation.
Cat now has hope someone will step in and help.
"We can save dolphins. I've rescued horses and dogs. I don't want to save every bear. Just this one," said Cat. "You know, he's hurt. And I can't see a hurt animal and not try to do something."