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Bear that prompted school lockdown caught using waffles

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -

A black bear that prompted a school in Fort Myers to go on lockdown was caught on Monday, lured in by the deliciousness of a breakfast favorite.

Grace Community School on Medical Lane went on a precautionary lockdown while authorities searched for the bear in the area of Colonial and Summerlin during most of the morning. The bear was spotted loose in the Park Place apartment complex on Deleon Street.

After a few hours of searching, Florida Fish and Wildlife caught the bear in a cage using waffles to lure the animal in.

"They got a box of waffles in this container, and they stashed the waffles inside the container and threw it into the cage, and lured him into the cage like that," said Brittani Morgan, Park Place resident. 

FWC said the bear is a yearling male, meaning he's older than 1-year-old and able to sustain himself away from his mother. 

Trappers are going to release him into a bigger habitat down south. 

FWC did not specify exactly where that would be.

"He was hopping around, and he was having a good time. he didn't want to go," said Morgan.

We also learned it's likely we'll be seeing more bears in our area over the next few months because it's black bear mating season. Mating season runs from June thru August.

Law enforcement and wildlife agencies were involved in Monday's search, as well as a bear-response contractor.

There were no reports of injuries or property damage at the Park Place apartment complex.

FWC estimates the statewide bear population to be approximately 4,050.

FWC's Statewide Bear Related Calls
2014: 6,688 calls
2015: 6,073 calls
2016: 5,136 calls
2017: 6,226 calls
  
FWC's Bear Related Calls in the South Bear Management Unit (BMU)
South BMU includes Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties.
2014: 702
2015: 618
2016: 503
2017: 584


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