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Black Bear moves from Miami to Collier County

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avatarUdut, Kenneth -- on Feb. 6 2009, from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.

Struck by car, moved to better location in Picayune Strand State Forest in Collier County

Black bear hit by car

MIAMI — A Florida black bear will be released back into the wild after being hit by a vehicle.

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to a call Tuesday night that a driver had hit a bear. They tranquilized it and transported the 200-pound animal to be examined.

Fish and wildlife officials determined the bear did not have life-threatening injuries and decided to release the bear. The bears normally are able to heal and survive vehicle collisions while bears taken into captivity can learn to associate people with food.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state has between 2,500 and 3,000 black bears.

The bear will be released into Picayune Strand State Forest, in Collier County.
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Udut, Kenneth
from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
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on Feb. 7 2009

South Florida 'Prognosis good' for hurt bear freed in Collier County

By Mike Clary

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 7, 2009

The sight of an injured black bear walking away under its own power when released into the woods supported a decision to overrule a Miami veterinarian who wanted to perform surgery on the accident victim, state wildlife officials said Friday.

"It was limping, but that's not unusual for a bear with a broken leg," said state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Joe Bozzo, who released the bear late Thursday afternoon in Picayune Strand State Forest in Collier County. "Bears are quick healers. I'd say the prognosis would be good."

The 200-pound male bear was hit by a car Tuesday on Florida's Turnpike near U.S. 27 in Miami-Dade County. The appearance of the animal far from the closest range in Big Cypress National Forest marked just the second sighting of the threatened species in the county for some 30 years, officials said.

After being held at a Homestead wildlife refuge for two days, the bear was examined Thursday afternoon by Miami veterinarian Marc Wosar. He found fractures in two of the bear's legs and an open wound on its haunch.

Wosar suggested the bear's foreleg could be pinned. "My recommendation, from a medical perspective, was to repair the animal," he said. "Unfortunately, the decision was out of my hands."

But wildlife commission officials said management protocol favors allowing most injured bears to fend for themselves in the wild. Rehabilitating injured bears in captivity is difficult, and they can become habituated to humans, said Mike Orlando, a wildlife commission bear expert.

"I have almost 100 percent confidence it's going to live," Orlando said. "This bear has been through two days where it wakes up every 20 minutes to have humans standing over it. That's horrible, extremely stressful. They really freak out.

"I am comfortable knowing the end of this will be better for the bear than if we took an alternative route."

The bear is not equipped with a tracking collar. Still, Orlando said biologists will try to monitor the bear's recovery.

Hardly bearable


specialists talk about the bear's injuries in a video report at

Black Bear moves from Miami to Collier County Struck by car, moved to better location in Picayune Strand State Forest in Collier County