- Two Kodiak bear cubs were found wandering a North Florida road in December.
- Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office released bodycam video of their response to the scene.
- Watch the video above to see how a deputy handled the unusual situation.
OCSO NEWS RELEASE:
An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy certainly wasn’t expecting what she found when answering a call in the Baker area around 3:30 in the morning December 5th.
A man had spotted two bear cubs on the side of Old River Road and said they didn’t appear to be our common Northwest Florida black bears.
Turns out he was right. These cubs were technically about 3,614 miles from what would normally be "home" - in Alaska.
They are apparently Kodiak cubs, a unique subspecies of the brown or grizzly bears, although Kodiaks are larger. Thankfully this pair was friendly and appeared healthy.
The OCSO contacted the bear experts, Florida Fish and Wildlife, who made sure the cubs were transported to a secure location for safekeeping while they conducted a thorough investigation into how they came to be on the side of a road.
It was determined the bears had escaped from an inadequate enclosure at a residence on Old River Road where a self-proclaimed bear trainer lives.
The resident faces various Florida wildlife violations related to the findings of the FWC investigation.
We opted not to share the video until after their investigation was closed.
• According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game “Kodiak bears are a unique subspecies of the brown or grizzly bear and in the wild live exclusively on the islands in the Kodiak Archipelago and have been isolated from other bears for about 12,000 years.
• There are about 3,500 Kodiak bears; a density of about 0.7 bears per square mile.
• Kodiak bears are the largest bears in the world. A large male can stand over 10' tall when on his hind legs, and 5' when on all four legs. They weigh up to 1,500 pounds. Females are about 20% smaller, and 30% lighter than males.”