TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It wasn’t the suspect they expected.

Deputies in Lake County, Florida came a little too close a black bear while searching for a subject.

A Facebook post by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said, “Deputies and K-9s were searching for a subject with overwatch from ‘Eagle 1’ (helicopter) when the Tactical Flight Operator noticed a Florida black bear lurking in the area.”

The helicopter’s thermal imaging cameras helped the helicopter crew notify deputies on the ground before it was too late.

“The cover deputy was notified and quickly diverted the bear’s attention from the task at hand.”

The sheriff’s office said If it wasn’t for the thermal camera, “it might have been a beary scary encounter!”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, roughly 1,200 Florida black bears inhabit the greater east-central portion of the state. The FWC said black bears are normally too shy to risk contact with humans, but their powerful need to find food can overwhelm this fear.

The weight of individual black bears varies greatly throughout the year although on average, adult bears in Florida range from 250 to 450 pounds for males and 125 to 250 pounds for females.