Safety Harbor’s Philippe Park closed after black bear sighting early Tuesday morning

Pinellas County

(Source: Clearwater Police)

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Safety Harbor’s Philippe Park was closed all day as authorities looked for a bear that was spotted in the park Tuesday morning.

“We spotted a black bear in the park early this morning nad we are working with the FWC to ensure safety,” city officials said on Twitter.

Clearwater police later released video showing what is believed to be the same bear, roaming a neighborhood in Pinellas County.

8 On Your Side spoke with Dave Scrivener who spotted the bear on Saturday morning near the Countryside Rec Center.

“This bear was captured on home video near Curlew and Countryside early Saturday, then made its way south to near the Countryside Recreation Center and Misty Springs condos,” police said on Twitter. It was gone, or hiding, when our officers arrived. This morning, the bear was spotted in Philippe Park.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were busy tracking a bear seen roaming a Pasco County neighborhood last week. And residents reporter over the weekend seeing a bear near Curlew Road and Landmark Drive. It is not known if it is the same bear.

“He’s not a little cub, he’s a couple hundred pound bear or he has a lot of fur,” said Scrivener.

Kalyn Lehr shared surveillance video of the bear wandering near her home with WFLA.

“I ran out of the room, and I was like you got to see this. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I’ve seen bears before, but it was so cool to have it that close. Being such a residential area, it’s kind of odd to because normally they don’t do that,” said Lehr.

FWC tells 8 On Your Side “while we don’t know for certain that this is the same bear, based on the sightings that have been reported to us we believe that this is likely the same bear.”

If you see the bear, stay away. Then call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

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