College Park bear struck, killed by car, Florida wildlife officials say

1st time ‘dispersing’ bear ever struck by car in Orlando

Bear seen in College Park tree (Orlando Police Department)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A young black bear recently spotted in College Park was struck and killed by a car Thursday morning on Fairbanks Avenue, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

FWC bear biologists had been following the juvenile bear since Monday, the agency said in a statement. Orlando police warned at the time that “although the bear is cute, please do not approach,” with pictures of the bear emerging on social media showing it residing in a tree near Yale Street and Formosa Avenue.

The bear was still in College Park the next day, police said, as the FWC advised all non-residents of the area to stay away while it worked to retrieve the animal.

College Park bear struck, killed by car, Florida wildlife officials say (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

According to FWC, what happened Thursday marks the first time that a “dispersing” bear has been run over by a car in Orlando. The term “dispersing” references when juvenile bears begin to leave their mother’s home range, the statement reads.

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In this situation, attempts were made to try and trap the bear for relocation but the bear continued to be on the move. Each situation may be different, but generally it is best practice for bears to be given plenty of space so that they will move away on their own.

Communications, Division of Habitat and Species Conservation | Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

More and more black bear sightings are reported in the Orlando area each year, FWC said.

People who feel threatened by a bear, observe a sick, injured, dead or orphaned bear or observe someone intentionally feeding bears or harming them are directed to contact FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.