A juvenile black bear had to be chased more than two miles back into the safety of the woods woods by wildlife officials after it wandered into a Highlands County city.
According to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, the bear was spotted in Avon Park around 8:36 a.m. Monday on U.S. 27. An hour later, it showed up in someone’s yard.
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Deputies responded to an area near Eddie Cannon Street and Summit Avenue, and was almost hit by a car, the sheriff’s office reported.
Tired and stressed on a hot summer day, the bear finally rested near a Chevron gas station around 10:15 a.m., the sheriff’s office said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials were going to tranquilize the bear to transport it, but decided against it as it could have died from being stressed.
Deputies even stopped traffic after 11 a.m. just so the bear could be safely corralled into a blueberry field, then lingering over to an orange grove, the sheriff’s office reported.