A relocated Florida black bear returns home.
According to the News Herald, a 350-pound black bear has been spotted in Panama City, three weeks after being relocated to a forest more than 90 miles away.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) officials tranquilized the bear April 14 outside a home while it was high in a tree, and it tore through the safety tarp set up to catch it.
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The bear was tagged and taken to the Apalachicola National Forest. Confirmation of the tags have verified that it is the same bear now roaming the Panama City area once again.
“We try to find a place we can take them and release them rather than euthanize them,” said Stan Kirkland of the FWC in the News Herald piece. “For whatever reason he didn’t stay put.”
Bears are often tranquilized and relocated when their presence in a suburban or urban area adds to the risk of human interaction.
Floridians hold the black bear in high regard, and even host the Black Bear and Wildlife Conservation Festival in Umatilla every October. The festival is meant “to increase awareness and promote the safe coexistence of humans and wildlife by fostering community appreciation of the Florida black bear and other native wildlife species, as well as Florida’s unique ecosystems that serve as wildlife habitat.”
There is no word as to whether or not the the FWC will attempt another relocation on the bear.
What do you think should be done about animals that return after being relocated?