Orlando, Florida – Local residents have been cautioned to avoid a furry wanderer seen in a neighborhood recently.
On Monday, Orlando police received several calls regarding a bear sighting near Yale Street and Formosa Avenue. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) has been attempting to safely capture the bear, which was observed high up in a tree. However, by Tuesday morning, the bear was still seen roaming through College Park.
“Although the bear is cute, please do not approach,” police advised on Twitter. “We want residents and everyone, including the bear, to be safe.”
According to NBC affiliate WESH, Joe Miller may have been the first to spot the bear in his backyard, with his dogs noticing the animal. “Normally, when I call them, they come in. But they were onto something,” Miller told WESH. “All of a sudden, I see a bear scaling the tree over there.” He mentioned that both he and the bear were startled by the encounter.
Miller reported that the nearly six-foot-tall bear remained in his tree for hours. “Then you see this, you know, when he stands up, he’s probably at least five, almost six feet tall,” Miller said. “He was scaling the tree really quickly ’cause he was startled.”
After the sighting, the FWC was called in to trap and relocate the bear. WESH reported that wildlife officials stated bears are more active at this time of year, with young bears leaving their mothers’ territory and occasionally appearing in unexpected areas.
On Monday, the FWC left without the bear, and a few hours later, neighbors reported seeing a bear in a tree in their backyard on Amherst.
Although encountering a bear in one’s backyard or neighborhood can be frightening, the FWC reminds residents that it’s not necessarily a cause for alarm.
Following the bear sightings, wildlife officials recommend securing food sources like birdseed and garbage to discourage bears from lingering in residential areas.
If anyone feels threatened by a bear or wants to report a sick or injured bear, they can call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Check our article about all other wild animals that can be seen in Florida.