Wildlife officials capture bear that roamed Hernando County area

WEEKI WACHEE — He's tattooed, tagged and one tooth lighter.

Now, a young black bear will soon be back in the woods.

Wildlife officials trapped the sub-adult, 212-pound bear Tuesday night on private property next to the northern reaches of the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, just south of the Citrus/Hernando county line and west of U.S. 19.

The bear had been roaming through the sparsely populated area, dipping its paws into bird feeders and tipping over trash cans in the past couple of weeks.

After a few reports from homeowners, officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set a trap with bacon and bird seed last Wednesday along Retriever Road, said Lee Taylor, wildlife biologist with the commission.

Biologists finally trapped the bear and brought it to a nearby office and garage. They tranquilized it, tattooed its upper lip, attached a numbered tag to its right ear and took measurements. They also removed a tooth to determine his age.

Officials thought the bear might be the same one caught in Land O'Lakes a couple of weeks ago, but a look at its upper lip proved this was a bear that hadn't been caught before.

Taylor and other biologists were set to release the bear back into the northwest corner of the wildlife area about noon today.

Wildlife officials capture bear that roamed Hernando County area 08/26/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 31, 2009 1:47pm]

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