Black bear spotted in downtown Orlando, hanging out in a tree at Lake Eola

OPD and FWC worked together to capture the bear

click to enlarge Black bear - Ben McMurtry
Ben McMurtry
Black bear
Shoppers at the Sunday farmers market at Lake Eola Park got more than they bargained for in the way of fresh and local when a young black bear was spotted in the trees.

Shoppers and park-goers gathered on the ground to watch the furry predator, until Orlando Police Department officers taped off the area. OPD then contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help in corralling the bear.

FWC estimates there are 1,200 black bears in the Central Florida area. Incursions into populated areas have become more and more common, and in 2015, the state began permitting for an annual bear hunt.

Although black bears can be dangerous and should be avoided, their diet is mostly vegetarian — grass, berries, seeds and the like — though they also eat bugs and roadkill. They are not apex predators in the sense of hunting and killing people, despite the rhetoric you may hear on Nextdoor and county commission meetings.
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Jessica Bryce Young

Jessica Bryce Young has been working with Orlando Weekly since 2003, serving as copy editor, dining editor and arts editor before becoming editor in chief in 2016.
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