Officials Relocate Black Bear Found Wandering Tampa International Airport

A black bear found wandering the grounds of Tampa International Airport has safely been relocated, thanks to a coordinated effort among officials.

Florida always seems to be in the news for some kind of animal incident, from a raccoon rescued from the ocean to an alligator found at a Publix.

Photo: Flickr/formulanone License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Now, a black bear is joining the mix.

According to ABC Action News, a TSA employee first spotted the bear walking around the airport perimeter and reported it to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.

According to PEOPLE, 35-year-old Branden Blake also spotted the bear on his drive to work. He said, “I’ve never seen this in 35 years… a black bear running along the tree line inside the fence of Tampa Airport…I happened to look to my right at a stoplight, and 200 yards away, there’s a giant black bear in the city.”

Photo: YouTube/FOX 13 Tampa Bay

After the discovery, the Tampa International Airport partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove the bear. They suspect the bear scaled the fence to enter the airport grounds. It’s a highly unusual situation.

While some animals are euthanized after being captured in public spaces, particularly alligators, officials made the compassionate decision to relocate the bear instead.

Photo: YouTube/FOX 13 Tampa Bay

According to Fox 13 Tampa Bay, the FWC relocated the bear to the Ocala National Forest in Marion County, Florida.

The FWC explains that black bears are the only species of bear found in Florida. There are approximately 4,050 black bears throughout the state.

You can see more about Tampa’s airport black bear in the news report below:

People, Pets & Planet

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