A 300-pound black bear on the loose has residents of a Fruitland Park neighborhood on edge -- after neighbors say a pet Chihuahua chased it up a tree.
"He crossed over my fence, then crossed over her fence, then went up the tree," said Katie Stinchcomb, who spotted the bear in her yard by James Avenue. "I called the police department to tell him he was there.
Neighbors say it's unusual to see one in their area.
While the bear was in the tree, wildlife officials prepared a special meal for it, hoping to entice it to come down.
"He's probably hungry. ... The neighbors were kind enough to bring me some cat food, syrup and a cupcake. So hopefully that will entice him," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official Cathy Connolly said.
"Because he was injured, we are more concerned about him hanging around here. We'll take him and tranquilize him and look at his injuries," Connolly said.
On Wednesday evening, the bear climbed down the tree and ran away. But Connolly said the trap will remain out until the bear is caught.
"Hopefully if he comes in, he'll grab this bag and it will shut the door behind him."
If the bear is seriously injured, wildlife officers will have to put it down. Otherwise, they hope to take it to the Ocala National Forest.
Meanwhile, parent Maddy Jenkins is concerned about children who must walk to school. "Nervous, very nervous," she said.