ROYAL PALM BEACH- An hours long standoff in a residential neighborhood between Palm Beach deputies and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers ended with the death of a black bear estimated to have stood six feet tall and weighing over 300 pounds.
The ordeal began just after 8:00 AM Saturday morning when a homeowner in the Saratoga Lakes development near Belmont Drive called PBSO to report a black bear on her porch just feet from her back door.
A deputy responding to the call spotted the bear walking along the fence line near Belmont and then watched it climb into a tree behind a residence before climbing down and continuing to wander the area.
An effort to corral the bear then ensued as deputies and FWC officers attempted to establish a perimeter in order to contain it.
Using drones and reports from residents, deputies were able to spot the bear 50 feet up a pine tree behind a house.
Along with FWC officers, deputies yelled and made noise in an attempt to keep the bear in the tree until a trapper could arrive to tranquilize and remove it.
Before that could happen, however, the bear began to climb down the tree and was no longer responding to the noise being made by officials on the ground.
PBSO deputies then opened fire on the bear with shotguns, striking and killing it.
The incident comes on the heels of a bear sighting in a Jupiter Farms neighborhood on June 11th, though no one was injured in either incident.
FWC considers bear sightings in Palm Beach County to be ‘rare’ and is investigating this latest encounter.
To help avoid bear encounters, Commission officials recommend residents put their trash out the morning of a scheduled pickup rather than the night before and say businesses should make sure their dumpsters are secured.
They also recommend feeding pets indoors and for fruit tree owners to collect any fruit that falls on the ground.