Crews To Try To Catch Bear In College Park|shearluck||11/30/07 at 17:58:05|shearluck|xx|0||Crews To Try To Catch Bear In College Park Neighborhood

POSTED: 11:20 pm EST November 20, 2007
UPDATED: 3:11 pm EST November 21, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Florida Fish and Wildlife crews will try to catch a big black bear roaming around College Park late Wednesday afternoon. Channel 9 was the only station there Tuesday night as the bear sat in a wooded area along Lake Ivanhoe.

Crews are worried the bear could cause some major problems, but not because people live so close to the wooded area where they believe the bear is hiding out. They are more worried about him roaming onto I-4 right across the lake.

"No, I have not [seen the bear] and I'm not sure that it exists, except in someone's imagination," said College Park resident Joe Barnes.

Barnes didn't believe there was a black bear roaming around his College Park neighborhood until he saw the Eyewitness News video.

"Well, I'm a believer. There's the bear. I think I'm going home to put my cat inside," he said.

An Eyewitness News camera captured the bear sitting calmly in a wooded area near Lake Ivanhoe late Tuesday night and experts believe potato chip bags and other traces of trash are a clear sign he's still hiding out there.

Florida Fish and Wildlife crews don't believe the bear is a real threat to neighbors, but they want to catch him because hiding in the woods along the lake could be dangerous for him because I-4 is so close. They said he could hurt himself and put drivers at risk.

"We have an otter that lives in the lake over there and possums, but they're not that attractive," said College Park resident Jane Tracy. "But it's exciting!"

Experts said the bear likely wandered from the Wekiva Springs area and probably came so close to the city to find food. They said, although bears don't really hibernate in Florida like they do up north, they do try to overeat because they don't roam around as much during the winter months.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife crew are expected at the scene late Wednesday afternoon. They will put old donuts, chips and other snacks in a cage-like trap to lure him in. ||