The bear who was hanging out at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando for three days has been safely caught in a trap by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers. Officials said the Lake Eola bear will be relocated to enjoy a new life in Ocala National Forest.
The bear gained a lot of local attention while staying in various trees at Lake Eola Park. Some of the food to lure the bear into a trap was reportedly eaten by homeless residents (remember when Mayor Buddy Dyer made it illegal to feed homeless people at Lake Eola?), but in the end, a community effort to safely trap the bear succeeded.
According to reports, the bear was very timid and scared, which isn’t surprising for many who find themselves in downtown Orlando at night. Not to mention, Orlando is not a safe city for pedestrians day or night, let alone bears moving around and trying to stay alive.
But the bear came down the tree again, and this time wildlife officials were hopeful. The bear apparently kept walking in and out of the trap before it was all over. The bear made the right choice and is now headed for a new life back in nature.
Orlando State Representative Anna Eskamani celebrated the capture and relocation of the Lake Eola Bear, adding “have a good life bear buddy.” Many others like Orlando State Senator Linda Stewart also provided updates along the way to the community.
“Juvenile bears are starting to disperse and leave their mother’s home range and may be seen in unexpected areas as they try to find a new home,” FWC said in a statement. “Typically, these bears will move away on their own. If you see a bear, give it space, don’t try to approach it, and never feed it.”
Knowing that Florida development is encroaching more on nature and many wild animals, residents should take additional measures to secure any food, garbage, pet food or even bird seed around their home and outside – anything that could attract a bear or wild animal and make it linger.