ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – Residents in Orlando have been warned to stay clear of a fuzzy foe after it was spotted roaming the streets of a neighborhood recently.
On Monday, Orlando police said they received numerous calls after a bear was spotted in the area of Yale Street and Formosa Avenue.
Authorities said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) has been working safely to retrieve the bear after it was spotted high in a tree. However, as of Tuesday morning, officials warned that the bear was still spotted roaming through College Park.
“Although the bear is cute, please do not approach,” police warned on Twitter. “We want residents and everyone, including the bear safe.”
According to NBC Affiliate WESH, Joe Miller might have been the first person to spot the bear. He told the news outlet that it was in his backyard and that his dogs spotted the creature.
“Normally, when I call them, they come in. But they were on to something,” Miller told WESH. “All of a sudden, I see a bear scaling the tree over there.” Miller added that he seemed to have “spooked the bear as much as the bear spooked him.”
Miller said the bear that was almost six feet tall stayed in his tree for hours.
“Then you see this, you know, when he stands up, he’s probably at least five, almost six feet tall,” Miller said. “He was scaling the tree really quickly ’cause he was startled.”
After the bear was spotted, the FWC was called to trap and move it. According to WESH, wildlife officials said bears are more active this time a year and young bears are “moving away from the area where their mothers roam, sometimes popping up in unexpected areas.”
On Monday, the FWC left the area without the bear and a few hours later, a few streets away, neighbors said they spotted a bear in a tree in their backyard on Amherst.
While spotting a bear in your backyard or neighborhood can be a scary sight, the FWC is reminding residents that seeing a bear in the neighborhood isn’t necessarily a reason to panic.
After the bear sightings, wildlife officials recommend residents secure any food such as bird seed and garbage so bears are less likely to hang around their area.
Anyone who feels threatened by a bear or wants to report a sick or injured bear, call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).