In a surprising incident at Tampa International Airport, a young black bear was apprehended after scaling a fence and exploring the tarmac. The bear’s escapade was captured on camera before authorities swiftly intervened.
The bear first caught the attention of a TSA agent on Tuesday near the employee parking lot at the airport’s north end, as reported by John Tiliacos, the Executive Vice President of Operations at Tampa International Airport.
In response, authorities established a substantial surveillance area spanning 40 to 50 acres to monitor the bear’s movements.
However, the elusive animal remained concealed in the nearby wooded region, prompting local and state agencies to employ infrared helicopters for overnight monitoring.
The following day, the bear attempted to emerge from the woods and scale the fence again.
Despite two unsuccessful tranquilization attempts, the bear was eventually enticed into a trap and safely captured, ensuring no harm to anyone involved.
Notably, airport operations continued without disruption throughout the incident, assured Tiliacos.
On Wednesday, the bear was handed over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for relocation to the Ocala National Forest.
This marked the first occurrence of a bear venturing onto the airport’s premises. However, the airport already employs a wildlife biologist due to the frequent presence of birds, coyotes, and tortoises.
Recent weeks have witnessed several bear sightings as young bears, aged between 1.5 and 2.5 years, venture away from their mothers for the first time.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advises the public to exercise caution during this period, as bears may be spotted in unexpected areas while searching for a new settlement.
The agency emphasizes maintaining a safe distance, refraining from approaching bears, and never feeding them.
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