In an unusual turn of events, Altamonte Springs residents were surprised to find a bear perched in a tree near the Red Lobster restaurant.
Law enforcement and wildlife officials have been closely monitoring the bear, which has remained in the tree for a significant portion of the day.
The incident unfolded on State Route 436, drawing the attention of curious onlookers.
Efforts were made to coax the bear down from the tree.
Police tape cordoned off the parking lot behind Red Lobster and Olive Garden, where Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) trucks and personnel were stationed.
A cage was placed on the ground, with authorities hoping the bear would eventually come down.
The bear’s massive size prompted astonishment among witnesses, with one resident expressing fear at the sight of such a formidable creature.
The scene involved a coordinated effort by police officers and sheriff deputies.
They positioned a tarp beneath the tree while attempting to tranquilize the bear with darts.
Unfortunately, one of the darts struck the bear, causing it to climb higher, rendering it unsafe to bring down in that manner.
Despite the involvement of Seminole County Fire Truck and the use of a crane, the bear remained perched in the tree.
FWC advised that it would be best for the bear to leave the area on its own accord.
Consequently, the tarp was packed away, and a portion of the parking lot was cleared to give the bear more space.
Residents shared videos of the bear’s presence, highlighting its journey from backyard sightings to its current location behind the restaurants.
Bear activity tends to increase during this time of year, particularly among young bears who are venturing away from their mothers’ territories.
It is not uncommon to encounter bears in unexpected places during this season.
FWC bear biologists will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the bear’s well-being and the safety of the community.
Although the bear’s visit has sparked intrigue and excitement, residents like James Rodriguez are hoping it departs soon, eager to avoid any potential dangers associated with its continued presence.
As Altamonte Springs maintains a watchful eye on their newfound neighbor, locals remain hopeful that the bear will eventually find its way back to a more suitable habitat, bringing this unique spectacle to a safe and peaceful resolution.