Traveling black bear arrives in Daytona Beach

Dinah Voyles Pulver
Brittney Dishong saw this roughly 2-year old, 200 pound Florida black bear on Thursday in Edgewater as she was driving to a friend's house. She spotted the bear along Mango Tree and Needle Palm in Florida Shores. [Provided by Brittney Dishong]

A Florida black bear roaming up the east coast has visited a Buddhist Center, taken a dip in the Intracoastal Waterway and now has arrived in Daytona Beach.

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission suspect that some five dozen bear sightings reported since June 5 are all related to the travels of a single bear.

[READ MORE: Black bear makes beeline through Edgewater]

Two bear sightings reported in Daytona Beach around lunch time could be related. A bear was seen near Williamson and Bellevue just after 11 a.m. Tuesday. By noon, a bear had been seen at the Home Depot and Cracker Barrel on International Speedway Boulevard.

"He looked scared running around," said Mike Snow of Port Orange, who was getting his lunch around noon at Arby's when he spotted the bear near Home Depot on International Speedway Boulevard. "He looked panicked, like he was just trying to find his way out of there."

The sightings began on June 5 in Cocoa. Since then the bear sightings moved northward almost every day, with sightings reported in Titusville, Mims, New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.

The only days sightings weren't reported were June 12 and June 15.

Mike Orlando, assistant coordinator of the FWC's state bear program, said the bear is likely a young male looking for a new territory after being pushed out of his birth range by a larger male. The bear is thought to be about 2 years old and weigh about 200 pounds.

Orlando didn't know why the bear is moving north in such a hurry. Bears have personalities just like people, he said, and move whatever direction strikes their fancy.

Kelly Anglin shared video Tuesday of the black bear's visit along Timaquan Trail in Edgewater last Thursday. The video footage, she said, was taken by Alex Smith as the bear ran along the road then quickly scaled a fence and scurried on.

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Is the bear injured or causing trouble? Call the FWC's wildlife alert hotline at 888-404-3922 (FWCC).