Black Bear Returns to St. Andrews Neighborhood

By: Morgan Kyrklund Email
By: Morgan Kyrklund Email

ST. ANDREWS - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers are deciding what to do with a bear that apparently can't seem to stay away.

He showed up again Tuesday in St. Andrews, about 2 blocks from the spot where wildlife officials had to get him out of a tree 2 weeks ago.

"The bear had been relocated to the Apalachicola National Forest, but he's come back," said Stan Kirkland with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The bear was in Ronald Morris' front yard.

Morris said, "I was out here working on my steps this morning around 10 o'clock and I noticed there were no animals, no birds, nothing around. So I started looking around and I looked up in the tree and it looked like a dead branch. I got up and walked over there and looked at it and a bear was looking at me. The first words that I said was, 'Honey call 9-1-1!'"

Panama City Police, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, firefighters, even Gulf Power, arrived to get the bear down safely.

Kirkland said, "The fire department is working with us, they are stretching some lines and some tarps to break the fall of the bear and we've got some staff that are on the way with airbags."

Once the airbags were slipped beneath the tarps, a Gulf Power cherry picker lifted a marksman, armed with a tranquilizer gun, eye-level with the bear.

It took a few minutes, but the bear eventually got drowsy and fell out of the tree.

Crews hosed down the bear to cool him off, then got him ready to be moved again.

The FWC is still deciding where to relocate the bear.

They'll know more Wednesday afternoon.


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