New Smyrna Beach known for sharks -- not black bears

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Bear watching in New Smyrna Beach / Headline SurferBear in a tree in New Smyrna Beach / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer videos and photos by Henry Frederick / A black bear climbed up a tree in downtown New Smyrna Beach just before sunrise Saturday and didn't come down until after sunset. Headline Surfer has exclusive video coverage.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The city by the sea is known for its shark bites and 'Cudas football, but black bears? One just happened to hang out in a tree at the corner of Magnolia and Canal streets all day Saturday until sunset when it climbed back down and scampered away.

While the Florida Fish and Wildlife said it was a young male, it was described later in the evening in a New Smyrna Beach police press release as a young female.

Here is a synopsis of what occurred as described by NSBPD Sgt. Christopher Kirk in his press release: A female Florida black bear wandered into downtown New Smyrna Beach and climbed into a tree near the intersection of Canal Street and Sams Avenue. She stayed in the tree throughout the day while officers from the New Smyrna Beach Police Department (NSBPD) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) stood by. The FWC also sent a biologist and bear expert to the scene to provide guidance and assistance. Once the heavy crowds dispersed, and the sun began to set, the bear climbed down from the tree and ran to the North West. She was last seen entering a wooded area near Ronnoc Lane. Any additional sightings should be reported to law enforcement and witnesses are encouraged to keep their distance and avoid interfering with the bear as she works her way home.

Headline Surfer shot a series of videos from the scene and will publish them with lots of photos as they are processed.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.