Police Kill Bear In Palm Beach County, Say They Had No Other Choice

Boca Raton Boynton Beach Delray Beach Florida News Palm Beach County

Trapping Attempts Unsuccessful, Even With Tranquilizer. Bear Estimated To Weigh 300 pounds.

CLAIM: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Did Not Find Trapper Fast Enough To Save Bear. Cops Forced To Kill.

The bear was close to residential neighborhoods and had to be killed when Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers were unable to locate a trapper with enough speed to relocate the tranquilized bear before it became a threat. (Photo: PBSO).

BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — A bear dangerously close to residential communities was killed by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office when Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers were unable to locate a trapper fast enough to keep the bear from entering residential neighborhoods.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office issued this statement Monday afternoon:

PALM BEACH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE STATEMENT ON BEAR KILLING.

At 8:08 am (on Saturday), PBSO deputy was dispatched to a bear sighting in the area of Crestwood Blvd just west of Royal Palm Beach Blvd located in Royal Beach.  Upon arrival, the deputy observed a large black bear, approximately 6’ and estimated at 300 pounds, on the south side of Crestwood Blvd entering the bushes and began walking west bound between the bushes and the fence line. The fence line backs up to residences of Belmont Drive in the Saratoga Lakes Development.  The deputy attempted to keep an eye on the bear as it was walking west bound and then lost sight of it.  Minutes later he was able to reacquire the bears whereabouts as it was now walking east bound in the bushes towards the canal located just east of the initial sighting.  The bear then walked towards the canal and turned south into the back yard of 116 Belmont Drive where the bear climbed a tree which also contained a baby swing and a small trampoline underneath it.  The bear was observed to be resting in the tree for a short period of time. The bear then climbed down from the tree and began to walk west through the backyard and back to the bushes along Crestwood Blvd.  The bear then traveled west along the fence line. While attempting to locate the bear FWC Officers arrived on scene.

Even with a tranquilizer, this bear apparently refused to stay in a tree until Florida Fish and Wildlife officers were able to locate a trapper to respond to the scene. PBSO Deputies killed the bear, fearing it posed a threat to residential neighborhoods.

PBSO deputy spoke with the resident in the 100 block of Belmont Drive who stated that she and her husband were inside her house in the company of her three kids ranging from the age of 1 years of age to 9 years of age.  After hearing her dog bark she noticed a black  bear inside her covered back-porch, approximately five feet from her back slider, an area where her kids normally play. The bear looked in her direction which placed her in fear for her and her family’s life.  The bear continued to walk around towards the south side of the house. After a few seconds of the bear going out of her view she saw the bear again walking back. Directly next to the porch she has a tall tree which the bear climbed. After a few short minutes, the bear came down and continued to walk towards the north side of her residence at which time she lost visual of it.

At 8:59 am, second deputy arrived at Crestwood Blvd just west of Royal Palm Beach Blvd where he secured a perimeter spot at the southwest corner of Huntington Woods development in reference to locating and containing a black bear which was loose in the Saratoga Lakes development.

At 9:54 am, residents in the 100 block of Belmont Drive contacted PBSO stating the bear was on the side of their residence. The deputy then relocated his vehicle to the front of that residence in an attempt to contain the bear. Moments later the deputy was advised that the bear had climbed a tall tree in the 900 block of Crestwood Blvd so he then repositioned his vehicle to that location and assisted additional deputies and FWC officers who had taken control of the scene to keep the flow of traffic moving and also keep the public away to a reasonable distance for not only their safety but the bears as well.

PBSO Drone units arrived on scene to attempt to locate the bear.  The bear was then observed coming out of the bushes and then climbed a large pine tree and was approximately 50 feet in the air.

The bear stayed in the tree while FWC officers stood at the bottom of the tree to make sure the bear did not climb down. PBSO’s role was to assist FWC Officers until they were able to locate a trapper, tranquilize the bear and relocate it.  Deputies stood at a safe distance maintaining a visual of the bear along with FWC Officer’s keeping the public away from the area. The bear began to climb down from the tree when FWC Officers and deputies began yelling at the bear and hitting the nearby trees to make noise to keep the bear in the tree which worked and the bear climbed back up the tree. 

After several hours of waiting for a bear trapper and/or a tranquilizer, from FWC, all was met with negative results.

At 12:25 pm, the bear began to climb down the tree. Deputies and FWC Officers again made loud noises in hopes the bear would climb back up the tree in which it did.  The bear now was approximately 20 feet up the tree when it began to get restless and climb back down the tree. Again, deputies and FWC officers began yelling in another attempt to keep the bear in the tree which met with negative results and the bear continued climbing down the tree. It should be noted that the bear had NO place to roam safely! The incident location and surrounding area are residential neighborhoods and fearing the bear would roam into the residential communities and/or impede traffic flow on the adjacent roadways PBSO was faced with making the decision to discharge their shotguns striking and killing the bear. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission representatives have not issued a statement as of mid-day Monday, June 20, 2022.

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