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Black Bear Treed Near Adventure Island

Tampa Police
This black bear was spotted wandering through a neighborhood near Tampa's Adventure Island before climbing a tree.

UPDATE AT NOON with information on capture of bear

After a short early morning stroll through a quiet residential neighborhood and a trip up a tree, a black bear has been captured near Tampa's Adventure Island.

Tampa Police called in trappers, who tranquilized the bear, caught it in a net and put it in a cage. The bear will be returned to its natural habitat. 

Here are the bear facts (sorry, we had to get at least one pun in):

The episode started around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday when a Tampa Police officer responding to an unrelated call saw a large animal, estimated to be 6-feet tall, run by him.

According to a police news release, the officer wasn't sure if it was a bear or a very large dog. After determining it was a bear, he attempted to follow it. 

The bear was spotted in a backyard in the 4200 block of E. Linebaugh Avenue before it climbed a tree around 7:30 a.m.

Officers said at the time that no one was in any danger, "as the bear seems content to remain in the tree." 

It's not the first time a bear has been spotted in this area. In July 2012, a black bear was seen on the USF campus before being removed from a tree at Busch Gardens. Another black bear was captured in a tree in the Egypt Lake area in West Tampa in May 2013, and a black bear was seen this past weekend, eating out of a bird feeder near a house in Tampa Palms.

State wildlife officials recently announced that it will be holding a second annual black bear hunting period later this year. The hunts coincide with an increase in the state's bear population. 

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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