Celebrity Bear Moved to Zoo
A 375-pound black bear that captured worldwide attention when a wildlife biologist rescued it from drowning during a capture attempt will spend the rest of its days in a zoo.
On July 7, less than two weeks after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) captured and relocated the bear for the third time, the animal turned up again in a residential area at Horseshoe Beach in Dixie County. The bear had traveled 110 miles from the spot where the FWC had released it in the Osceola National Forest.
At first, the bear’s captors did not realize it was the same one that dashed into the water when hit with a tranquilizer dart at Alligator Point in June. The bear, known to the FWC as “Bear W007” probably would have drowned if FWC biologist Adam Warwick had not pulled the animal back to shore during the operation. A bystander’s photograph of the rescue ran in news media all over the world.
Tim Breault, director of the FWC’s Division of Habitat and Species Conservation, said three unsuccessful attempts to relocate the bear to keep it away from populated areas led officials to conclude the bear cannot remain in the wild.
Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Inc. agreed to take the bear Wednesday morning. They have made arrangements to have the bear kept at the Hardee County Animal Refuge.