TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 250-pound bear was freed after wandering around for nearly a month with its head stuck in a plastic container, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said in a statement Monday.
According to the FWC, a resident reported seeing a bear with its head stuck in a container last month. FWC biologists, law enforcement officials and bear contractors set up traps and monitored the area in hopes of finding and rescuing the animal. Three weeks later, it was spotted on a resident’s security camera, still wearing the container on its head.
Wildlife officials set more traps and found the animal around midnight Monday, then it was darted and freed from the plastic container. The officials said the container might have been part of an automatic pet feeder that had a hole that “provided enough access to drink and eat.”
“Even after 28 days of wearing it, the bear was still in great physical shape! She did have a wound encircling her neck and face where the feeder was stuck, but staff cleaned the injury and treated her with antibiotics,” the FWC said.
The animal was monitored for about a day, then let go in a secure area of the Picayune Strand State Forest, officials said.