On Monday, wildlife officials in Florida reported they had removed a plastic container from a bear’s neck. The bear was first spotted in Collier County with the container around its neck about four weeks ago. Before wildlife officials could intervene, it disappeared in the wild. The officials had been looking for the bear over the past three weeks.
Before being found, the bear was filmed by a resident’s security camera, prompting officials to track it down and remove the container. Pictures of the bear posted on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Facebook page showed the bear with the container wrapped around its neck. Although the bear did not appear to be in pain, it likely struggled to eat and drink over the three weeks.
Once spotted, the bear was tranquilized by the agency’s biologist via dart shot. The officials then carefully cut the container before pulling it off the bear’s neck. They had to handle it carefully to avoid harming the animal.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife department said in a Facebook post that the container might have been a pet feeder since it had an opening on its mouth. The hole near the bear’s muzzle was instrumental in helping the animal to continue feeding over the past month in the wild.
“Luckily that hole provided enough access to drink and eat. Even after 28 days of wearing it, the bear was still in great physical shape!” the Facebook post read.
Despite the harrowing three weeks that the 250-pound animal went through, it came out in shape. The officials said that the bear was in great shape except for a wound around the neck and face. These injuries were cleaned and treated with antibiotics before the bear was released into the wild.
Instances of plastic waste harming wild animals have been on the rise in the past few years. Sharks and other fish species have been found tangled in plastic waste in seas, and now, the situation is spilling onto land.
Lead image via Pexels