Bear Baiting Donuts Are His Downfall

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 3:44pm

Bear lured from tree in Florida neighborhood with sweet treats.

One Immokalee, Florida neighborhood had an unwanted neighbor after a black bear climbed up a tree in someone's backyard and refused to come down.

"When you see a bear in a tree it's because it is scared. That's one of their safety measures, to escape up a tree," said wildlife biologist Joe Bozzo.

The 200 pound male showed up in the neighborhood Sunday.

"So he's been running around - back there that yard - last night, and then comes back over here to my mom's house," said neighbor Raul Martinez.

He says before the bear was trapped, his elderly mother was terrified to come out.

"She's locked up in her room - locked up inside her own house," he said.

Martinez says he is disappointed with the response from deputies and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

He said at first, officials told him there was nothing they could do.

"Oh, but if it be Naples, they would have been there in a heartbeat. But it's Immokalee, so," Martinez said.

Bozzo said Monday they couldn't use a tranquilizer dart on the bear.

"We didn't have a good open shot and it's about 25 feet up in the tree," he said.

On Monday afternoon biologists set a trap - an eight-foot piece of culvert pipe with a door on one end.

"The idea is to bait it in and it pulls a bait bag and then it closes the door like a big mouse trap," Bozzo said, adding donuts were used as bait.

Though it's a little unusual to see a bear hanging out in a backyard, Bozzo says it shouldn't really surprise anyone in Collier County.

He explained the area has the second densest population of bears in the state and sometimes they just get little too comfortable.

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