HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - A bear seen roaming a Homestead neighborhood has been caught and relocated to the west coast of Florida, authorities said.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed on Saturday that the four-legged drifter was caught sometime on Friday.
Ring doorbell video captured the wild animal as it walked toward the doorstep of a home and took a stroll in the Isles of Oasis neighborhood, near 147th Avenue and Pacific Drive, Thursday night.
The bear was also spotted at a local Publix supermarket and Baptist Health Homestead Hospital.
On Friday morning, area residents reacted to the Ring video.
“Oh, my God! Is that a bear?” shouted Meracita Johnson. “He’s out in this community? Oh, my God, and I’m out for my walk. Are you serious?”
Friday morning, a passer-by snapped a picture of the bear after spotting it near Southwest 152nd Avenue and Campbell Drive.
7News cameras captured Homestead Police, Homestead Animal Control and FWC as they worked to track down the animal.
Authorities said they set up a trap for the bear in a wooded area near the neighborhood, but they did not confirm its capture until Saturday night.
Mike Orlando, a biologist with FWC, has some advice if another bear is seen wandering the streets.
“Well, we really want people to actually enjoy the experience of seeing a bear. It might be the very first time that you’ve ever seen one in the wild, so enjoy that experience,” he said, “but we really need to make sure that we’re giving them a healthy respect, right? Don’t approach them, don’t try to go and, you know, take close-up pictures of them, certainly do not try to feed them. Just enjoy them from a distance.”
FWC officials said they have relocated the bear to Picayune Strand State Forest, located about two miles east of Naples in Collier County.
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