TAMPA (FOX 13) - Residents of one Tampa neighborhood got quite a sight Tuesday morning, when a black bear decided to take a rest in a tree along a residential road.
The bear took up temporary residence in a tree near the intersection of East Linebaugh Avenue and North 46th Street, close to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island.
Amos Brown lives nearby and said he woke Tuesday looking for an excuse to stay home. He never imagined that a pretty good one would land on his doorstep.
"I didn't want to go to work. I said, 'Oh God, I gotta go to work today.' It wasn't five minutes later, I hear, 'boom boom boom.' Loud knock on the door. It's the police. 'Don't come to your door, there's a bear in your backyard!' That's all I needed to hear. That's divine intervention!" Brown laughed.
He looked out of his window to see a bear making itself at home in his backyard.
"About 20 minutes later he went to the side, climbed the tree. Then, all the sudden, cameras, reporters, police. Oh my God, it was action," Brown described.
A Tampa police officer first spotted the bear running down the road around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. After spending some time in Brown's backyard, the 250-pound bear moved toward the front of his house, settling in a nook in a tree.
Police, FWC, and a expert trapper surrounded the home, and eventually shot the bear with a tranquilizer gun. It was later relocated to the Apalachicola National Forest.
"We never have this kind of excitement before! We have a little bit, but not that much. Not that kind. That was so surprising. Wonder where he come from?" neighbor Ella Evans said.
The question of where was still up in the air Tuesday evening. Busch Gardens confirmed the bear was not theirs. Neighbors said it was quite a scare at the time, but a memory they'll soon smile over.
"I told the wife, 'give me a marker and a piece of paper. I can't go out, I can't eat, maybe they're going to send us a pizza or something.' So I put up an 'SOS' sign to let them know we're here, somebody's in here!" Brown laughed.
This is the second black bear sighting for Tampa residents in just a few days. Just last week, a Tampa Palms resident's home surveillance system spotted a black bear snacking from a bird feeder on her porch.Bear breeding season runs from June until early August.