NAPLES, Fla.- The bear was spotted back on Vanderbilt Beach just before 10 on Friday morning. Wildlife officials say it was so comfortable around people that a biologist was able to get very close to it before tranquilizing him.
"A bear should want to avoid being in close proximity from a person," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Spokesperson, Carli Segelson.
Instead this bear was roaming in the grassy area in front of the Gumbo Limbo restaurant.
It was very exciting to see the bear yesterday and everyone was looking at it
Laurie Reuther saw the animal and was shocked to learn it had been put down. In this photo, the bear is asleep after being tranquilized.
"It's very sad, I mean to see something, wildlife life like that and to know that they destryed it, is very sad
But wildlife officials said the bear's behavior posed a public safety risk.
"When the FWC biologist approached the bear, it didn't show any fear it didn't run away
That comfort came from people who fed the animal. Many beach-goers were upset the bear was killed. But Segelson said the animal's life would have been at risk in captivity.
"Sometimes they really hurt themselves, injured themselves trying to escape from their enclosure and its just not a situation that is a good one for the bear," said Segelson.
And wildlife officials want to remind everyone if you see a bear, don't feed it and don't approach it.