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Bear captured near theme park entrance

July 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM

TAMPA, Fla., July 3 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said a black bear spotted near the University of South Florida was captured near the entrance to the Busch Gardens amusement park.

Florida Fish & Wildlife officials said the bear was first reported Friday walking on U.S. 41 away from the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Hernando County and investigators lost track of the animal until it was spotted Tuesday morning near the University of South Florida in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

Wildlife officers tracked the bear to Busch Boulevard where it was seen climbing a tree near the front gates of Busch Gardens. Officers said the bear was tranquilized and taken into custody.

Officials said the same bear, described as a 275-pound young adult, was previously captured in a populated area on Sanibel Island and taken to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

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