by Shawn Skipper - Thursday, March 24, 2016
Last fall, Florida hosted its first black bear hunt since 1994. State officials wound up shutting down the weeklong hunt after the second day, when harvest totals nearly reached quota they'd set. An uptick in the local bear population—and, accordingly, in human/bear interactions—is what initially led the state to consider allowing its first hunt in more than two decades. As you might imagine, though, the hunt hasn't completely curtailed run-ins with bruins. Earlier this week, a bear lumbered onto an elementary school campus, where wildlife officials ultimately had to tranquilize it.
According to USA Today, a 260-pound bear appeared on the grounds of Three Oak Elementary School in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday, March 23. The bear was allegedly roaming the school grounds before a responding officer was able to run it up a tree, where it stayed until it could be tranquilized and relocated. 260 pounds isn't necessarily a big bear, but it's no cub, either. Fortunately, responding officials were well-prepared for dealing with a big ol' bruin, and things were wrapped up rather quietly. School dismissal was delayed a few minutes to ensure the bear was completely neutralized, but business, as a whole, went on as usual. You can check out the full report here.
The moral of the story, really, is that spring has sprung, and bears encounters are going to be popping up here and there. Be mindful of your surroundings, folks.
For more information, check out the video that I've embedded above or go to USAToday.com.
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