Bear spotted in Jacksonville tree

May 4, 2007 at 4:54 PM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 4 (UPI) -- Students at a Jacksonville, Fla., elementary school were shut inside Friday morning when a 350-pound black bear was spotted in a nearby oak tree.

WJXT-TV reported the bear climbed out of the tree when Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers shot him with a tranquilizer dart. Then the bear climbed another tree until he got groggy and fell.

"He fell on the grass so he's fine," wildlife commission spokeswoman Karen Parker told WJXT. "In fact, he's not as asleep as we would like him to be, so I think they're going to hit him up with a little bit more just to make sure -- for the safety of the officers."

Authorities said students at Jacksonville Heights Elementary were not in any danger, but they were kept inside while the bear was around. Residents were also asked to stay inside, although WJXT reported some couldn't resist coming out for a peek.

Officers planned to release the bear in the Osceola National Forest.

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