Excited, pursuing bear: Florida officials seek unusual urban visitor | Florida

In a summer’s tale to enthrall inhabitants of the south-western Florida city of Naples, a black bear seen wandering around downtown eluded wildlife officials – even as sightings of the animal continued.

Police said the bear was first spotted in the city on Friday, near 12th Avenue South and 6th Street South. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to trap the bear in hopes of relocating it, the Naples Daily News reported.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and police closed 1st Avenue between Gulf Shore Blvd and 3rd Street North on Friday, when the bear was seen near the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club golf course.

Authorities said the bear had not been aggressive and had avoided interactions with people, but urged citizens to be vigilant all the same. Residents continued to call authorities with bear sightings around the city.

Bears as young as 18 months can sometimes wander into populated areas while trying to establish independence from their mothers and to find a new home, the fish and wildlife commission said.