Bear climbs tree near busy Orlando intersection

By Scott McDonnell, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, June 09, 2012, 9:35 AM EDT

Orange Blossom Trail was buzzing Friday night, and it wasn’t because of weekend traffic.

A bear was on the loose, finally climbing up a tree near the 408 and North OBT.

A large crowd was on hand to watch it all play out.

The 1-and-a-half-year-old black bear wandered in sometime after dinner.

“It was just a little bit exciting to see it, you know, I was just wonder where the bear came from and how did it get over in this area, but I was more or less excited to see everything,” said onlooker Adriana Morres.

Florida Fish and Wildlife manager Joy Hill explained how it got there.

“He’s been escorted out of where he grew up by a dominant male bear who has been out there marking the trees and marking their territory and they know they need to get out of dodge. Unfortunately, we’ve had just six or more in the last week or so headed down this way,” said Hill.

This isn’t the first time a black bear has popped up near downtown Orlando.

Last month, another black bear was caught in the Parramore neighborhood.

But officials say there’s no need to worry.

“You know the black bears here in Florida, they’re really not here to get people,” said Hill.

One brave man, who was first to spot the bear, used his own tactics before calling 911.

“You know, I tried to hit him with a bottle, tried to take him down off the tree. And he started acting up, like ‘hey!’ Really I got a little worried about it,” said Jamal Lutfi.

Wildlife management opted for a tranquilizer gun, instead of a bottle.

After that, it was time to get ready for a couple hundred pound free fall.

After it fell from the tree, officials took DNA samples and tested for the bear’s age.

It was taken to the Ocala National forest.