Black bear captured in Cutler Bay residential area

CUTLER BAY, Fla. (WSVN) — Wildlife officials have captured a black bear after it was spotted in a residential area of Cutler Bay for a second consecutive day.

7Skyforce hovered above the scene where the bear had been tranquilized by officials, Friday afternoon.

The Mayor of Palmetto Bay and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed the bear sighting and said officials a dealing with it.

Officials first received a phone call about the bear on Thursday. The animal had initially appeared on area resident Francisco De Santos’ surveillance video. “I took a picture, and I said, ‘No, that’s not supposed to be a bear. I think it’s a big dog,'” he said.

Appropriately enough, De Santos has a bear-themed welcome ornament at the entrance of his home. “Maybe that’s the reason he came over here to my driveway,” said the homeowner as he laughed over the animal sighting.

Officials responded to the scene but were unable to locate the animal.

On Friday, more phone calls were made to officials that the bear had been sighted in a tree near Southwest 208th Street and 87th Avenue.

Miami-Dade Police and wildlife officials once again came to the neighborhood, drawing the attention of curious residents. “I’ve seen a bunch of cops here, so I asked them, ‘Hey, what’s going on?'” said Eli Dager, “and he said, ‘There’s a bear, a loose black bear on the tree,’ and I had to ask him three times, ‘Is that a bear?’ ‘Yes, a bear.'”

Dager then spotted the bear and took several photographs. Once word spread of the sighting, more residents came out to shoot cellphone video of the animal.

Officials were able to wrangle the furry visitor and put it a cage. Experts remained at the scene to make sure the bear was treated properly.

Cutler Bay Councilman Roger Coriat said, despite the presence of wild animals in the vicinity, the bear sighting is a rarity. “We’ve got plenty of wildlife: bobcats, otters, things like that but never a bear,” he said.

When asked how the bear could have wandered into the neighborhood, Coriat replied, “It’s possible that it might have jumped in a canal over in Big Cypress, off [State Road] 41 and actually made its way swimming along the canal, just looking for food.”

The bear was taken to an FWC facility near Zoo Miami.

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