With few sightings to go on, officials are continuing to search for a 120-pound grizzly bear cub that ran away from its home on Florida's west coast earlier this week.
BooBoo, a domesticated cub and brother of Yogi, escaped from Golden Gate Estates in Naples on Tuesday morning, according to NaplesNews.com
Dexter and Megan Osborn, the cub's owners, tour the country for half a year with an educational bear show called “A Grizzly Experience.” BooBoo is one of three pet grizzlies, including an adult bear named Tonk and another cub named Yogi.
The couple declined to speak to reporters at NaplesNews.com. Neighbor Jimmy Carter said he knew them to be "good people" and responsible bear owners, saying the grizzlies haven’t caused problems in the neighborhood.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were trying to confirm a few reported sightings of the cub.
"We've had a couple calls but we have not been able to confirm what type of bear it was," Capt. Mitts Mravic said. "We do have black bears in the area … but we're looking for a brown bear."
Search teams tried to trail the bear's scent but lost the tracks, Mravic told NaplesNews.com. Instead of pursuing Booboo with helicopters and officers on horseback, as was Tuesday's plan, officials were working on quieter search tactics to avoid scaring the bear away.
Authorities tried to bait the bear with vegetables, molasses, and marshmallows as well as with the cub's brother, Yogi, who was placed in a cage.
It's unclear how far the cub could travel on its own, but search teams stayed close to the Golden Gates neighborhood, officials said.
Residents in Naples didn't seem concerned. A man jogged up the street with headphones in his ears. A girl rode down the street on her bicycle. A group of teenagers shot hoops in their front yard.
“There's bears in the backyard all the time,” Jeff Williams told NaplesNews.com.
All three of the Osborns’ bears are kept on a 2-acre habitat on the couple's 8-acre ranch, according to the Grizzly Experience website.
Although the couple has photos of the bears interacting with both children and adults, FWC officials warned residents not to approach the cub, particularly since grizzly bears are not native to Florida and might behave erratically.
The three grizzlies visited a science center in Alabama earlier this month, according to Mobile TV station Local 15.
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