Residents concerned for bear cub's safety, FWC responds

Credit: Richard Fravel
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
November 7, 2018

CARRABELLE BEACH, Fla. (WCTV) -- Residents in a Florida neighborhood have expressed concern over a bear cub in the area.

Multiple residents have reached out to WCTV to express concern for the cub, saying they're afraid for its safety. WCTV reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who responded with the following statement.

"We received a report on the morning of Saturday, November 3, 2018 of an approximately 35 pound bear cub in the Lanark Village area. A short time later, we received a call that a bear cub had been hit by a car in the same general location. FHP and FWC law enforcement responded to the scene and found no damage to the vehicle. They also noted the bear was mobile. The local FWC bear biologist planned to monitor the situation to see if the bear showed any signs of distress in the near future.

On the morning of Sunday, November 4, 2018 we received a call about a bear cub in a tree eating acorns in Lanark Village. FWC staff responded and determined the bear did not appear to be in distress and was eating and resting in the tree. They also noted this cub was radio collared as part of our Apalachicola Demographic study. The adult female bear is believed to have been killed in a vehicle collision about three weeks ago.

The cub’s collar actually fell off Tuesday afternoon while FWC staff was on-scene. The collar was designed to fall off as the cub grows, so this was not unexpected.

After the collar fell off, the cub came down from the tree and wandered around the area. FWC staff did not observe any injuries. The cub returned to the same tree this morning and is continuing to be monitored by the FWC. Giving the cub space and allowing it to feel comfortable is what is best for the bear at this time.

Our cub protocol notes that cubs over 30 pounds after August 1st have the best chance for survival if left in the wild rather than being brought into captivity regardless of the presence of an adult female. In addition, there are many risks involved with catching small bears and bears in general when they are in trees. If the situation changes and the animal seems to be in distress we will re-evaluate our response. "

Residents of the community have taken to Facebook to share photos and give updates on the wellbeing of the animal.

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