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Wildlife officials capture largest black bear in Florida history

  • giant black bear.jpg

    FWC bear trapper Mike Connolly set a trap and caught this 620-pound bruin. Before relocating and releasing the big guy, FWC biologists Mike Orlando and Dave Turner sedated him, collected some hair samples, and gave him an exam, an identification tattoo and ear tag. (FWC / Mike Orlando)

  • giant black bear 1.jpg

    May 28, 2013: Once released by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials, this 620-pound bruin -- The largest black bear ever captured in Florida -- trampled a GoPro camera in his haste. (FWC / Cindy Bennett)

The largest black bear ever captured in Florida has reportedly been relocated after being trapped near the Ocala National Forest.

The 620-pound bear, which had been getting into trash at the national forest, was captured near Paisley on Monday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Joy Hill told The Daily Commercial.

'Even after the garbage was secured in a shed, he returned and pulled the aluminum siding off to get at his free meal.'

- FWC officials

“This bear was so used to getting into trash that even after the garbage was secured in a shed, he returned and pulled the aluminum siding off to get at his free meal,” FWC officials wrote on its website.

The catch marked the largest black bear ever captured in the Sunshine State, Hill said, but the largest documented black bear was a 624-pounder that was struck and killed by a car in Naples several years ago.

Biologists were able to sedate the bear in order to collect hair samples and give him an exam, identification tattoo and ear tag, FWC officials said.

“Bears that habitually feed on human-supplied foods such as garbage and wildlife feed or pet food can become abnormally large because of the high number of calories found in these food sources,” FWC officials said.

Wildlife officials estimate there are 3,500 black bears in Florida.

Click for more from The Daily Commercial.