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Published October 21, 2015
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.
“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.