Elusive black bear spotted in Lake Eola safely captured

A young black bear that was spotted over the weekend in downtown Orlando has been safely captured.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Rep. Anna V. Eskamani said the bear came down from a tree at the World of Beer and walked into a cage, which the Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) used as a trap.

The bear, which Eskamani nicknamed, "Blaze," will be released at the Ocala National Forest.

The bear was first spotted over the weekend in a tree on one side of Lake Eola Park, drawing interest from the FWC as well as people walking around the area. 

FWC staff brought in a cage Sunday with hopes of trapping the bear and safely relocating it but were unable to capture the animal at the time.

According to the FWC, during this time of year, bears are more active. Juvenile bears are starting to leave their mother’s home range and may be seen in unexpected areas as they try to find a new home. 

Typically, these bears will move away on their own. If you see a bear, give it space, don’t try to approach it, and never feed it.

"Seeing a bear in a neighborhood is not necessarily cause for alarm. However, it is important that residents secure food attractants so that bears do not linger in the area. If a bear is not able to find food, it will move on," the FWC said.

In late April, another juvenile bear was spotted wandering around Central Florida near Altamonte Springs. The bear was spotted in College Park but was later hit and killed by a car in the early morning hours.  

If you see a bear and feel threatened, you can contact the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Visit https://myfwc.com/bear for more information on how to avoid conflict with bears.